Content about Medicare Part D

October 10, 2012

With the Medicare Annual Election Period set to begin Oct. 15, Walgreens on Wednesday announced it will be a part of preferred pharmacy networks of four national Medicare Part D plan sponsors: Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With the Medicare Annual Election Period set to begin Oct. 15, Walgreens on Wednesday announced it will be a part of preferred pharmacy networks of four national Medicare Part D plan sponsors: Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare.

October 9, 2012

Remember back in 2009, when some on Wall Street swore the sky was falling as Caremark came off a tricky selling season? Oh, how times have changed.


Remember back in 2009, when some on Wall Street swore the sky was falling as Caremark came off a tricky selling season? Oh, how times have changed.


“Everything we’ve seen this year demonstrates that CVS is a stable company that is well-positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities in the industry,” stated Barclays Capital analyst Meredith Adler in a recent research note.


October 9, 2012

Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Sept. 18 by the National Community Pharmacists Association.


Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Sept. 18 by the National Community Pharmacists Association.


NCPA polled more than 350 community pharmacists about their recent experience with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers and other Medicare Part D plan intermediaries. The survey also asked about generic drug reimbursement caps known as maximum allowable costs, or MACs. 


Among the findings:


October 1, 2012

SilverScript Insurance, a CVS Caremark company, announced on Monday that a variety of new Medicare prescription drug plan options are available for 2013.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — SilverScript Insurance, a CVS Caremark company, announced on Monday that a variety of new Medicare prescription drug plan options are available for 2013.

October 1, 2012

More than 20,000 RxAlly member pharmacies — including independent pharmacies, regional chains and Walgreens — will begin accepting a new federally qualified Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, SmartD Rx, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

CLEVELAND — More than 20,000 RxAlly member pharmacies — including independent pharmacies, regional chains and Walgreens — will begin accepting a new federally qualified Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, SmartD Rx, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Developed by Smart Insurance Company with the input of pharmacists, SmartD Rx will be offered to beneficiaries for the first time this fall during Medicare’s open enrollment period. 

September 18, 2012

Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

NCPA polled more than 350 community pharmacists about their recent experience with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers and other Medicare Part D plan intermediaries. The survey also asked about generic drug reimbursement caps known as maximum allowable costs (MACs). 

May 16, 2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month released a memo to all Part D sponsors, warning them that the agency has "observed an increase in beneficiary complaints related to the transfer of prescriptions from retail pharmacies to either mail-order or specialty pharmacy without their explicit consent."

BALTIMORE — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month released a memo to all Part D sponsors, warning them that the agency has "observed an increase in beneficiary complaints related to the transfer of prescriptions from retail pharmacies to either mail-order or specialty pharmacy without their explicit consent."

May 14, 2012

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to beef up its oversight on Medicare Part D submissions from retail pharmacy, according to an Office of Inspector General report published last week.

WASHINGTON — The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to beef up its oversight on Medicare Part D submissions from retail pharmacy, according to an Office of Inspector General report published last week.

The OIG suggested CMS strengthen a MEDIC's ability to track pharmacy billing (MEDICs — Medicare Drug Integrity Contractors — are private organizations who are contracted by CMS to assist in anti-fraud and abuse efforts) and improve compliance plan audits, specifically targeting independent pharmacies and pharmacies in urban locales.

April 19, 2012

The study's findings that the Part D coverage gap — or “doughnut hole” — led to a significant gap in the adherence of cardiovascular medications may not come as a complete surprise; however, it undoubtedly underscores the important role that pharmacy can play in helping patients navigate plan strategies that promote the use of lower-cost medications.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The study's findings that the Part D coverage gap — or “doughnut hole” — led to a significant gap in the adherence of cardiovascular medications may not come as a complete surprise; however, it undoubtedly underscores the important role that pharmacy can play in helping patients navigate plan strategies that promote the use of lower-cost medications.

April 17, 2012

Medicare Part D beneficiaries with cardiovascular conditions who had no financial assistance during the "doughnut hole" coverage gap were 57% more likely to discontinue their cardiovascular medications than those beneficiaries who had consistent drug coverage, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries with cardiovascular conditions who had no financial assistance during the "doughnut hole" coverage gap were 57% more likely to discontinue their cardiovascular medications than those beneficiaries who had consistent drug coverage, according to a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

March 26, 2012

Increases in the prices of prescription drugs have far outpaced the rate of general inflation over the years, as increases in the prices of branded and specialty drugs have offset decreases in the prices of generics, according to a new report by AARP’s research arm.


Increases in the prices of prescription drugs have far outpaced the rate of general inflation over the years, as increases in the prices of branded and specialty drugs have offset decreases in the prices of generics, according to a new report by AARP’s research arm.


The study, conducted by AARP’s Public Policy Institute, found that the cumulative change in drug prices from 2005 to 2009 was almost double the rate of inflation. As a result, the average annual cost of drug therapy continued to rise.


March 21, 2012

Industry-supported legislation designed to improve pharmacy benefits manager standards under the Medicare prescription drug program — standards that will further provide fair audits of and payments to pharmacies — was presented before the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — Industry-supported legislation designed to improve pharmacy benefits manager standards under the Medicare prescription drug program — standards that will further provide fair audits of and payments to pharmacies — was presented before the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

March 19, 2012

More than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved billions on prescription drugs, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

WASHINGTON — More than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved billions on prescription drugs, thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

New data found that these individuals saved more than $3.2 billion on prescription drugs, while savings for seniors included a one-time $250 rebate check to those who hit the "donut hole" coverage gap in 2010 and a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs in the donut hole in 2011.

March 7, 2012

Two lawmakers are calling for a congressional hearing surrounding the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Two lawmakers are calling for a congressional hearing surrounding the role of pharmacy benefit managers in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

February 21, 2012

Message to Congress: You’ve got to spend a little money to save a lot of it. Paying $100 million to the nation’s community pharmacists to provide comprehensive medication therapy management to more American seniors would save Medicare $1 billion or more. Spend $200 million and save $2 billion ... you get the picture.

Message to Congress: You’ve got to spend a little money to save a lot of it. Paying $100 million to the nation’s community pharmacists to provide comprehensive medication therapy management to more American seniors would save Medicare $1 billion or more. Spend $200 million and save $2 billion ... you get the picture.

January 12, 2012

CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission has concluded its investigation into the company’s business practices.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission has concluded its investigation into the company’s business practices.

November 21, 2011

Many so-called restricted-network Medicare Part D prescription drug plans don't give adequate pharmacy access to rural residents and are deceptively marketed to patients, the National Community Pharmacists Association said Monday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Many so-called restricted-network Medicare Part D prescription drug plans don't give adequate pharmacy access to rural residents and are deceptively marketed to patients, the National Community Pharmacists Association said Monday.

The plans include those offered by a number of national retail chains and health insurers.

November 3, 2011

CVS Caremark on Thursday reported solid third-quarter results — 2 cents above the high end of its guidance range — driven in large part by better-than-expected performance in its pharmacy benefit management, which is in the midst of a profit-improvement plan.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark on Thursday reported solid third-quarter results — 2 cents above the high end of its guidance range — driven in large part by better-than-expected performance in its pharmacy benefit management, which is in the midst of a profit-improvement plan.

October 28, 2011

Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

WASHINGTON — Standard monthly premiums under Medicare Part B will be $99.90 in 2012, $6.70 under the projected figure made by the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS announced Thursday.

This year's Medicare Part B premium is a $15.50 decrease over the standard 2011 premium of $115.40 paid by new enrollees and higher income Medicare beneficiaries and by Medicaid on behalf of low-income enrollees, HHS said. Additionally, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $140, a decrease of $22 from 2011.

October 28, 2011

The program to offer certain generic drugs virtually for free to Medicare Part D beneficiaries is one of Rite Aid’s many new ways to attract more customers and thus grow its sales and profits, especially in the pharmacy.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The program to offer certain generic drugs virtually for free to Medicare Part D beneficiaries is one of Rite Aid’s many new ways to attract more customers and thus grow its sales and profits, especially in the pharmacy.

(THE NEWS: Rite Aid partners with Envision Insurance Co. to offer Medicare Part D Rx drug plan. For the full story, click here)

October 25, 2011

Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries will be able to obtain hundreds of generic drugs without any deductible or co-pay under a new program offered by Rite Aid.

The retail pharmacy chain announced Tuesday that it had partnered with Envision Insurance Co. to offer a value-focused prescription drug plan for Medicare Part D Open Enrollment 2012. Rite Aid EnvisionRx Plus offers beneficiaries a plan with a $0 deductible and $0 co-pays, including during the coverage gap, also known as the donut hole.

October 17, 2011

With the congressional “super-committee” inching closer to making budget decisions to reduce the deficit, the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Monday that it has developed two new advertisements reinforcing how local pharmacists can reduce federal healthcare costs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — With the congressional “super-committee” inching closer to making budget decisions to reduce the deficit, the National Community Pharmacists Association announced on Monday that it has developed two new advertisements reinforcing how local pharmacists can reduce federal healthcare costs.

October 14, 2011

As annual open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS pharmacists are available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to complete plan comparisons, CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As annual open enrollment season begins for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS pharmacists are available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to complete plan comparisons, CVS/pharmacy announced on Friday.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to review their current prescription coverage and enroll in a new plan, if they so choose.

October 14, 2011

Rite Aid said its pharmacists will be ready to help patients and caregivers choose the prescription drug plan that works best for them as 2012 Medicare Part D open enrollment begins Saturday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid said its pharmacists will be ready to help patients and caregivers choose the prescription drug plan that works best for them as 2012 Medicare Part D open enrollment begins Saturday.

Open enrollment is beginning a month earlier than in previous years so that Medicare administrators can process plan choices before the new year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

October 11, 2011

At press time, the industry was weighing the potential merger of pharmacy benefit manager rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but executives at CVS Caremark remain more confident than ever that its PBM business is ideally positioned to “effectively compete."


At press time, the industry was weighing the potential merger of pharmacy benefit manager rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but executives at CVS Caremark remain more confident than ever that its PBM business is ideally positioned to “effectively compete,” regardless of what federal trade regulators decide for ESI-Medco. And there’s good reason why.