Content about Medicaid

May 28, 2013

Why does the federal government want to block independent pharmacies from providing much-needed diabetes testing supplies to older homebound patients?

In a clear case of over-zealous federal policy-making and glacial government response time, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says it will do just that beginning in July. That’s when CMS has decreed it will no longer allow small community pharmacies to deliver diabetic test kits to homebound and long-term-care patients on Medicare.

Why does the federal government want to block independent pharmacies from providing much-needed diabetes testing supplies to older homebound patients?

In a clear case of over zealous federal policy-making and glacial government response time, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will do just that beginning in July. That’s when CMS has decreed it will no longer allow small community pharmacies to deliver diabetic test kits to homebound and long-term care patients on Medicare.

May 23, 2013

More than half of all healthcare providers who are eligible have received Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for electronic health records, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

WASHINGTON — More than half of all healthcare providers who are eligible have received Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments for electronic health records, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the department had exceeded its goal for 50% of doctor offices and 80% of hospitals to have EHRs by the end of the year. By contrast, the percentage of physicians using EHRs in 2008 was 17%. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 contained incentive programs for adoption of EHRs that went into effect in 2011.

May 22, 2013

Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

May 21, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that, in written statements submitted for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives committee hearings this week, it noted the essential role of community pharmacy in the success of the 10-year-old Medicare Part D prescription drug program and urged program enhancements focused on the quality and affordability of care.



May 20, 2013

A recent survey commissioned on behalf of a pharmacy benefit manager trade group found a high degree of satisfaction among Medicare Part D beneficiaries with preferred pharmacy plans.

WASHINGTON — A recent survey commissioned on behalf of a pharmacy benefit manager trade group found a high degree of satisfaction among Medicare Part D beneficiaries with preferred pharmacy plans.

May 16, 2013

The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm a former Virginia Health and Human Services secretary as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm a former Virginia Health and Human Services secretary as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Members of the Senate voted 91-7 in favor of confirming Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS, drawing praise from a retail pharmacy trade group.

May 14, 2013

Medicare Part D plans that create tiered networks of pharmacies for beneficiaries need more oversight amid reports that small and medium-sized pharmacies are being excluded from them, several senators wrote in a letter last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Medicare Part D plans that create tiered networks of pharmacies for beneficiaries need more oversight amid reports that small and medium-sized pharmacies are being excluded from them, several senators wrote in a letter last week to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

May 8, 2013

Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb foresees significant effects on its business from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, company executives told attendees of its recent shareholder meeting.

WASHINGTON — Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb foresees significant effects on its business from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, company executives told attendees of the its recent shareholder meeting.

April 21, 2013

“We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — “We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary. Prior to Anderson taking the stage, Greg Wasson, out-going chairman of the NACDS board and president and CEO of Walgreens, made his state of the industry remarks.

April 19, 2013

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering healthcare costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 15, 2013

Generic makers heralded the fiscal year 2014 budget proposed last week by the Obama administration for its embrace of generic drugs, but were critical of its provisions on patent settlements and rebates.

WASHINGTON — Generic makers heralded the fiscal year 2014 budget proposed last week by the Obama administration for its embrace of generic drugs, but were critical of its provisions on patent settlements and rebates.

April 12, 2013

A proposal to further reduce Medicaid drug reimbursement that was included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget plan is “premature” and federal Medicaid officials should focus on modifying and completing already proposed regulations to set future federal upper limits for reimbursement of most generic drugs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association said.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A proposal to further reduce Medicaid drug reimbursement that was included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget plan is “premature” and federal Medicaid officials should focus on modifying and completing already proposed regulations to set future federal upper limits for reimbursement of most generic drugs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association argued on Friday.

April 9, 2013

A MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C., got a visit from one of the state's top health officials recently.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C., got a visit from one of the state's top health officials recently.

April 9, 2013

A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

April 8, 2013

A growing number of patients on Medicaid are filling their prescriptions through Managed Medicaid plans instead of the fee-for-service model as states switch them over in an effort to improve patient care and cut healthcare costs, but the effects remain unclear, according to a new study.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — A growing number of patients on Medicaid are filling their prescriptions through Managed Medicaid plans instead of the fee-for-service model as states switch them over in an effort to improve patient care and cut healthcare costs, but the effects remain unclear, according to a new study.

April 3, 2013

The recent call letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addresses issues that can have an adverse effect on the program's cost and quality of care, a trade group representing independent retail pharmacies said Wednesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The recent call letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addresses issues that can have an adverse effect on the program's cost and quality of care, a trade group representing independent retail pharmacies said Wednesday.

Commenting on the CMS' announcement, the National Community Pharmacists Association said it had prepared a detailed list for its members.

April 2, 2013

Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

WASHINGTON — Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

March 29, 2013

A new Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, furthers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s goals for health promotion and the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions.

WASHINGTON — A new Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), furthers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s goals for health promotion and the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions.

March 14, 2013

Amid a tide of automatic spending cuts resulting from the failure of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget, the generic drug lobby has offered some suggestions to generate savings.

WASHINGTON — Amid a tide of automatic spending cuts resulting from the failure of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget, the generic drug lobby has offered some suggestions to generate savings.

March 12, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the NACDS Chain Members and Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) breakfast, which will be held on April 22 during the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

 ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the NACDS Chain Members and Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) breakfast, which will be held on April 22 during the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

March 8, 2013

While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

ST. LOUIS — While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

March 8, 2013

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively.

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively. 

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.  

March 4, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association submitted written comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action on a wide range of what NCPA characterizes as "anti-patient, anti-pharmacist practices," the association announced.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday submitted written comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action on a wide range of what NCPA characterizes as "anti-patient, anti-pharmacist practices," the association announced. 

March 1, 2013

Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues a "call letter" to lay out various policies and requirements for the coming program year within the Medicare program.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues a "call letter" to lay out various policies and requirements for the coming program year within the Medicare program.