Content about Medicare

February 7, 2014

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

As a result of the patent cliff, generic drug manufacturers have thrived while branded pharmaceutical manufacturers have suffered. Branded pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to suffer even more in the coming years, as many more important patents will lose exclusivity.
A recent paper from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delves into these issues and more.

As a result of the patent cliff, generic drug manufacturers have thrived while branded pharmaceutical manufacturers have suffered. Branded pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to suffer even more in the coming years, as many more important patents will lose exclusivity. 

A recent paper from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services delves into these issues and more.

Click here to read the full Generics Drug Report 2014. 

 

January 10, 2014

One of the principles of association leadership says that an association should reflect the membership. Hopefully, NACDS’ approach to member service has resembled the can-do spirit of community pharmacy during the launch of exchange-based insurance.

One of the principles of association leadership says that an association should reflect the membership. Hopefully, NACDS’ approach to member service has resembled the can-do spirit of community pharmacy during the launch of exchange-based insurance. 
 

June 27, 2013

Desloge, Mo.-based Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy was honored with the 2013 Pharmacy of the Year Award by McKesson Corporation in Las Vegas, Thursday, at the Venetian Casino and Resort, as part of the wholesaler’s annual McKesson ideaShare conference.

LAS VEGAS — Desloge, Mo.-based Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy was honored with the 2013 Pharmacy of the Year Award by McKesson Corporation here, Thursday, at the Venetian Casino and Resort, as part of the wholesaler’s annual McKesson ideaShare conference.

June 25, 2013

The healthcare industry continues to prepare for ACA implementation and the expected influx of newly eligible patients, said Emdeon's Kevin Mahoney. Many pharmacies are changing their staffing models in preparation for customers with expanded Medicaid benefits — especially as we approach the New Year. This is a good time for me to remind you to be thinking about your eligibility program.

In January, I offered Drug Store News readers a look at the pharmacy and technology trends facing our industry for the year. Here we are in June (can you believe it?), so I thought we should have a progress check and update for the back half of 2013.

February 19, 2013

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements. Providing clinical services through the coordination of care among a variety of providers in the healthcare space will continue to be a focal point in the future of healthcare as well. For example, we will likely see more elaborate collaborative care models through the expansion of accountable care organizations, patient centered medical home efforts, and the development of health insurance exchanges in one form or another.

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements. Providing clinical services through the coordination of care among a variety of providers in the healthcare space will continue to be a focal point in the future of healthcare as well.

February 5, 2013

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have applied this sports theory to its rankings system of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) plans. And there’s billions of dollars up-for-grabs for healthcare plans.

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels.

January 31, 2013

Hospitals need retail pharmacy if they're going to reduce re-admissions, eliminate unnecessary healthcare costs and avoid penalties from Medicare for patient re-admission rates that are too high, under a new law that took effect Oct. 1. With that in mind, Walgreens created WellTransitions.

Audio Q&A: Drug Store News sat down with Joel Wright, Walgreens VP health systems operations, to talk about the company's WellTransitions program. Hospitals need retail pharmacy if they're going to reduce re-admissions, eliminate unnecessary healthcare costs and avoid penalties from Medicare for patient re-admission rates that are too high, under a new law that took effect Oct. 1. With that in mind, Walgreens created WellTransitions.

August 28, 2012

CVS Caremark and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have teamed up to increase awareness of the new services available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To announce the partnership and highlight new benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have teamed up to increase awareness of the new services available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To announce the partnership and highlight new benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

February 27, 2012

Community pharmacy brings innovation to patient care

One of America’s most intractable challenges is the staggering cost of health care. Policy-makers agree that Medicare and Medicaid — not to mention the nation’s frayed health system overall — can’t continue to sustain the costs of care. One vital but underutilized resource that could help break the cost cycle is the nation’s 56,000 community pharmacies — and the pharmacists who staff them.

April 9, 2014

Emphasizing implementation challenges that could impact patient access to pharmacy services, a coalition is urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow a one-year transition period for states to fully implement the Medicaid average manufacturer’s price-based federal upper limits for prescription medications.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Emphasizing implementation challenges that could impact patient access to pharmacy services, a coalition is urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow a one-year transition period for states to fully implement the Medicaid average manufacturer’s price-based federal upper limits for prescription medications.

April 4, 2014

Hospital patients who participated in Walgreens' WellTransitions program were 46% less likely to experience an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge, according to new company research released Friday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Hospital patients who participated in Walgreens' WellTransitions program were 46% less likely to experience an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge, according to new company research released Friday. 

April 4, 2014

Walgreens helped create a new, larger worksite health organization when it sold a majority interest in Take Care Employer Solutions to strategic health investor Water Street Healthcare Partners. The new entity, which combines Take Care with CHS Health Services, will serve more than 200 leading corporations through nearly 500 worksite health-and-wellness centers across the country. Walgreens still maintains a significant stake in the company and will continue to manage their existing worksite clinics in collaboration with the new company.

The end result will be an opportunity to couple best practices into an entity with a greater economy of scale that's part of a business model with a lot of upside. The vast majority of large employers remain committed to providing benefits to active employees, according to a recent survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health — an association of large employers — released in March. Offering health insurance as an employee benefit is something the majority of small businesses think is very important, too, according to the 2014 Small Business Health Care Survey from the National Small Business Association — 91% of firms fielding between 20 and 50 employees and 94% of businesses with more than 50 employees believe health benefits are crucial to employee recruitment and retention.

Walgreens helped create a new, larger worksite health organization when it sold a majority interest in Take Care Employer Solutions to strategic health investor Water Street Healthcare Partners. The new entity, which combines Take Care with CHS Health Services, will serve more than 200 leading corporations through nearly 500 worksite health-and-wellness centers across the country.

March 26, 2014

The month of March came in like a lion, indeed, but not because of the weather. The month began with a roar as a group of the largest and most influential pharmacy associations and chains came together to form the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, or PAPCC, in an effort to secure formal federal recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers.

The month of March came in like a lion, indeed, but not because of the weather. The month began with a roar as a group of the largest and most influential pharmacy associations and chains came together to form the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, or PAPCC, in an effort to secure formal federal recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers. 

March 26, 2014

Message to federal health plan payers from community pharmacy: We have the systems in place and the professional expertise to help millions of patients to better their health outcomes at a lower cost. Message to pharmacy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Prove it.

Message to federal health plan payers from community pharmacy: We have the systems in place and the professional expertise to help millions of patients to better their health outcomes at a lower cost. Message to pharmacy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Prove it.

March 25, 2014

Walgreens on Tuesday posted a sales increase of 5.1% to $19.6 billion for the second quarter ended Feb. 28. First-half sales were up 5.5% to $37.9 billion.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Tuesday posted a sales increase of 5.1% to $19.6 billion for the second quarter ended Feb. 28. First half sales were up 5.5% to $37.9 billion. 

March 20, 2014

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week.

PRINCETON, N.J. — Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week. While health insurance status was a major determinant of this satisfaction, even one-third of those who didn't have health insurance still reported they were satisfied.

March 12, 2014

Citing pharmacist-administered medication therapy management, recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers, the need for fair and accurate pharmacy reimbursement in state Medicaid programs and other pharmacy services, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a statement to lawmakers urging them to consider pharmacy provisions within the “Fiscal 2015 Budget,” released by the administration last week.

ARLINGTON, Va. – Citing pharmacist-administered medication therapy management, recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers, the need for fair and accurate pharmacy reimbursement in state Medicaid programs and other pharmacy services, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a statement to lawmakers urging them to consider pharmacy provisions within the “Fiscal 2015 Budget,” released by the administration last week.

March 11, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

March 11, 2014

Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

March 3, 2014

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Friday hosted a Congressional briefing highlighting the economic impact the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription labeling that would allow for label changes without prior FDA approval.

WASHINGTON — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Friday hosted a Congressional briefing highlighting the economic impact the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription labeling that would allow for label changes without prior FDA approval.

February 24, 2014

Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use, according to a study published last week in BMJ.

LONDON — Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use, according to a study published last week in BMJ

February 19, 2014

Tricare for Life beneficiaries soon will receive letters guiding them to Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy for some prescriptions as part of a congressionally mandated pilot program, officials of the military healthcare plan reported Tuesday.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Tricare for Life beneficiaries soon will receive letters guiding them to Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy for some prescriptions as part of a congressionally mandated pilot program, officials of the military healthcare plan reported Tuesday.

Tricare for Life is secondary coverage for Tricare beneficiaries who have both Medicare Parts A and B in the United States and U.S. territories.

February 18, 2014

Now that most generics have declined in cost, plans will look for new ways to control health spend and ensure that generics are being used whenever possible.

Now that most generics have declined in cost, plans will look for new ways to control health spend and ensure that generics are being used whenever possible. Prescription drug spending is down, and generic drugs made up 77% of all 2012 prescriptions, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Could this generic utilization percentage go even higher as a result of recent healthcare legislation?

Medicaid is increasingly becoming a managed care program, and states are looking to entities like pharmacy benefit managers to help them manage their drug spend.

February 18, 2014

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

As a result of the patent cliff, generic drug manufacturers have thrived while branded pharmaceutical manufacturers have suffered. Branded pharmaceutical manufacturers are expected to suffer even more in the coming years, as many more important patents will lose exclusivity.

February 18, 2014

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors.

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors. Those changes, if adopted, could help level the competitive playing field for pharmacy retailers in Part D plan networks, reduce competitive advantages for preferred pharmacy networks and mail-order pharmacies, and put a tighter squeeze on pharmacy benefit managers.

Thus, the proposals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the 2015 federal fiscal year could spell big changes for retail pharmacies. Among the most far-reaching are: