Content about Healthcare reform

April 4, 2012

People ages 65 years and older reduced their volume of prescriptions, while those ages 19 to 25 years increased their use of prescription drugs as the healthcare-reform law allowed them to remain on their parents' insurance, according to a new report by IMS Health.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — People ages 65 years and older reduced their volume of prescriptions, while those ages 19 to 25 years increased their use of prescription drugs as the healthcare-reform law allowed them to remain on their parents' insurance, according to a new report by IMS Health.

The report, "The Use of Medicines in the United States: Review of 2011," found that per capita spending on U.S. medicines grew by 0.5% as healthcare system spending reached $320 billion and new drug launches opened new treatment options for more than 20 million Americans.

February 29, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association last week sent a follow-up letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the agency to revisit a decision last month that effectively requires some pharmacies to pay duplicative fee-for-service Medicare enrollment/revalidation fees, according to the association.

WASHINGTON — The National Community Pharmacists Association last week sent a follow-up letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the agency to revisit a decision last month that effectively requires some pharmacies to pay duplicative fee-for-service Medicare enrollment/revalidation fees, according to the association.

February 10, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and California pharmacy groups have banded together to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent the implementation of a state plan amendment — proposed by the California Department of Health Care Services — which they say would place significant limitations on access to pharmacy care and services for the state’s Medi-Cal patients.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and California pharmacy groups have banded together to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent the implementation of a state plan amendment — proposed by the California Department of Health Care Services — which they say would place significant limitations on access to pharmacy care and services for the state’s Medi-Cal patients.

December 19, 2011
For those of us in the healthcare and wellness business, we realize our industry is changing and evolving quickly, mostly out of pure necessity. The healthcare industry is overburdened, over budget and in need of an overhaul. But the potential for our healthcare and wellness system is incredible for all audiences it touches — from consumers to medical professions to healthcare and wellness marketers.

For those of us in the healthcare and wellness business, we realize our industry is changing and evolving quickly, mostly out of pure necessity.  The healthcare industry is overburdened, over budget and in need of an overhaul.  But the potential for our healthcare and wellness system is incredible for all audiences it touches — from consumers to medical professions to healthcare and wellness marketers. Throughout this past year familiar themes rang clear across our industry, giving us insights into what will play vital roles for healthcare in our future.

September 22, 2011

A congressman from Texas is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to reject an attempt by the Texas state government to move millions of Medicaid prescription drug beneficiaries into managed care plans.

WASHINGTON — A congressman from Texas is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to reject an attempt by the Texas state government to move millions of Medicaid prescription drug beneficiaries into managed care plans.

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, head of the Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation, said the move would harm small pharmacies that cater to Medicaid beneficiaries and leave many patients without access to pharmacy services by reducing pharmacy dispensing fees to far below the average pharmacy's cost of dispensing each prescription.

September 15, 2011

The use of over-the-counter medicines as a cost savings tool is catching on, of all places, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — The use of over-the-counter medicines as a cost savings tool is catching on, of all places, at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Certain plans under Medicare are utilizing a new prepaid card of sorts to allow members to pay for their OTC medicines. Medicaid administrators, meanwhile, are employing that same card to incentivize healthier behavior among its members.

September 13, 2011

Walgreens, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced the kick-off of the Million Hearts Initiative, a public and private sector initiative to help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Tuesday announced the kick-off of the Million Hearts Initiative, a public and private sector initiative to help prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.

August 22, 2011

The other side of the retail clinic phenomenon is urgent care, which also is growing as the need for alternative sites of care becomes more apparent, and providers look to fill the gaps in health care. This is why it is important to note the news of Solantic’s expansion plans.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The other side of the retail clinic phenomenon is urgent care, which also is growing as the need for alternative sites of care becomes more apparent, and providers look to fill the gaps in health care. This is why it is important to note the news of Solantic’s expansion plans.

(THE NEWS: Solantic announces statewide hiring. For the full story, click here)

August 9, 2011

Walgreens is planning to sell health insurance as soon as this fall, CNNMoney reported Tuesday morning.

NEW YORK — Walgreens is planning to sell health insurance as soon as this fall, CNNMoney reported Tuesday morning.

Walgreens declined to comment on the matter, according to the report.

The Chicago-based pharmacy-and-more operator would sell health insurance products with different price ranges and coverage levels across its network nationwide through a private health insurance exchange, CNNMoney reported, citing people familiar with the plan.

August 4, 2011

The Alliance for Patient Care, a coalition of healthcare providers, health plans, patient advocates and others working together to protect access to care in California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) program, headed to Washington, D.C., to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and members of Congress to reject California’s proposed cut to the state’s Medi-Cal program, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Patient Care, a coalition of healthcare providers, health plans, patient advocates and others working together to protect access to care in California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) program, headed to Washington, D.C., to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and members of Congress to reject California’s proposed cut to the state’s Medi-Cal program, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

July 29, 2011

Pharmacy benefit management tools helped slow prescription drug spending growth from 5.3% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Pharmacy benefit management tools helped slow prescription drug spending growth from 5.3% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

One PBM tool that helped was tiered co-pays that shifted medication use toward lower-cost generic drugs.

July 14, 2011

Amid debt ceiling talks, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to President Barack Obama and to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leadership outlining key areas to help ensure continued patient access to pharmacy services through such federally funded programs as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, the association announced on Wednesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Amid debt ceiling talks, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to President Barack Obama and to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leadership outlining key areas to help ensure continued patient access to pharmacy services through such federally funded programs as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, the association announced on Wednesday. 

July 7, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding a proposed rule that would help to determine Medicaid beneficiary access to pharmacies and other healthcare providers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. ­— The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding a proposed rule that would help to determine Medicaid beneficiary access to pharmacies and other healthcare providers.

NACDS urged CMS to ensure access to healthcare services for Medicaid beneficiaries that are comparable with the access that the general population has in a given geographic area, a requirement of the federal standard.

June 20, 2011

It’s like if KITT, the talking car on the 80s TV hit “Knight Rider,” consulted Hasselhoff about his excessive drinking while the two used advanced automotive and information-based technology to fight crime — and improve health outcomes.

It’s like if KITT, the talking car on the 80s TV hit “Knight Rider,” consulted Hasselhoff about his excessive drinking while the two used advanced automotive and information-based technology to fight crime — and improve health outcomes.

June 3, 2011

Anyone wondering what the future of health care under a more consumer-directed model will look like got a glimpse of it from two pieces of news this week.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Anyone wondering what the future of health care under a more consumer-directed model will look like got a glimpse of it from two pieces of news this week.

(THE NEWS: Sam’s Club celebrates men’s health with free screenings. For the full story, click here)

April 13, 2011

Healthcare reform has remained a major subject of debate since President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last March, but what the law means for diabetes care was the particular focus of a conference call with diabetes stakeholders Tuesday.

NEW YORK — Healthcare reform has remained a major subject of debate since President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act last March, but what the law means for diabetes care was the particular focus of a conference call with diabetes stakeholders Tuesday.

April 13, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it has signed on as a partner for a new public-private partnership, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs through the use of community-based care transition programs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it has signed on as a partner for a new public-private partnership, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs through the use of community-based care transition programs.

NACDS lauded the initiative's recognition of pharmacy's role in helping patients take their medications as prescribed.

April 8, 2011

A Georgetown University Health Policy Institute study of Florida’s Medicaid Managed Care pilot program should raise doubts for states considering the use of for-profit managed care companies to reduce Medicaid costs, the National Community Pharmacists Association cautioned on Friday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A Georgetown University Health Policy Institute study of Florida’s Medicaid Managed Care pilot program should raise doubts for states considering the use of for-profit managed care companies to reduce Medicaid costs, the National Community Pharmacists Association cautioned on Friday.

March 14, 2011

Ten members of Congress expressed concerns over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that is said to reduce Medicare program costs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ten members of Congress expressed concerns over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that is said to reduce Medicare program costs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

February 25, 2011

In his 2011-2012 budget, New York governor Andrew Cuomo included a proposal to update New York’s Medicaid program. The announcement comes at the heels of New Jersey governor Chris Christie's motion to modernize the state's Medicaid plan.

WASHINGTON — In his 2011-2012 budget, New York governor Andrew Cuomo included a proposal to update New York’s Medicaid program. The announcement comes at the heels of New Jersey governor Chris Christie's motion to modernize the state's Medicaid plan.

Similarly to New Jersey's plan, Cuomo said New York's “Proposal to Redesign Medicaid” could save state taxpayers $350 million though 2015 by managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs.

February 23, 2011

A group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state's Medicaid program.

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state's Medicaid program.

Christie said the proposed overhaul, which includes managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs, would save the state $41 million, “while still providing vital services,” the governor said.

February 16, 2011

The New York State Health Department has proposed a plan that could save the state’s Medicaid program $350 million through 2015.

WASHINGTON — The New York State Health Department has proposed a plan that could save the state’s Medicaid program $350 million through 2015.

The proposal would redesign the program so that it acts more like Medicare and private insurers. According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for pharmacy benefit managers, the program currently uses fewer generic drugs and pays pharmacists twice what they get from private insurers and Medicare.

February 8, 2011

A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius should continue encouraging state Medicaid programs to explore affordable pharmacy solutions despite opposition from the independent drug store lobby.

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius should continue encouraging state Medicaid programs to explore affordable pharmacy solutions despite opposition from the independent drug store lobby.

February 3, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

In a document released Thursday, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged all 50 state governors to increase the use of generic drugs in their state Medicaid programs.

January 19, 2011

The drive by Republicans to overturn the landmark health-reform legislation enacted last year threatens the health of as many as 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, the Obama administration’s top health official warned Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — The drive by Republicans to overturn the landmark health-reform legislation enacted last year threatens the health of as many as 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, the Obama administration’s top health official warned Tuesday.