Content about Medicare

October 19, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday offered federal Medicaid officials a number of suggestions to address methodology that, if left in place, would result in what the NCPA couched as "potentially devastating cuts" in Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for a wide range of common, generic prescription drugs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday offered federal Medicaid officials a number of suggestions to address methodology that, if left in place, would result in what the NCPA couched as "potentially devastating cuts" in Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement for a wide range of common, generic prescription drugs.

October 18, 2011

In a letter to the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provided recommendations related to diabetes testing supplies for Medicare patients.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a letter to the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the super committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores provided recommendations related to diabetes testing supplies for Medicare patients. NACDS said its recommendations would prevent the unintended consequences of hasty policy mistakes, and foster better and more cost-effective patient care.

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 12, 2011

Wrapping up its 113th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday outlined the association's key initiatives and programs heading into 2012.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wrapping up its 113th Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, the National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday outlined the association's key initiatives and programs heading into 2012. Chief among the association's concerns are threats to already-diminutive reimbursement rates for prescriptions filled, including the release of federal upper limits by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

October 11, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday released results from a survey of more than 800 independent community pharmacists about the negative consequences for their patients and their businesses if diabetes testing supplies under Medicare Part B are subjected to competitive bidding prices.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Tuesday released results from a survey of more than 800 independent community pharmacists about the negative consequences for their patients and their businesses if diabetes testing supplies under Medicare Part B are subjected to competitive bidding prices.

“The message from our survey is clear: applying competitive bidding prices for diabetes testing supplies to independent community pharmacies is financially unsustainable for these pharmacies,” stated NCPA EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey.

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.


October 11, 2011

Over the years, CVS Caremark has grown from a go-getting New England-based regional player to a nearly $100 billion pharmacy healthcare giant known for its vertically integrated pharmacy-PBM model via the 2007 acquisition of Caremark, its highly successful loyalty card program and its innovative beauty concepts.


Over the years, CVS Caremark has grown from a go-getting New England-based regional player to a nearly $100 billion pharmacy healthcare giant known for its vertically integrated pharmacy-PBM model via the 2007 acquisition of Caremark, its highly successful loyalty card program and its innovative beauty concepts.


October 11, 2011

Walgreens last month announced its offer of free blood-pressure checks, along with complementary healthcare professional consultations, as its contribution to the Million Hearts campaign, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens last month announced its offer of free blood-pressure checks, along with complementary healthcare professional consultations, as its contribution to the Million Hearts campaign, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.


October 10, 2011

The number of new independent pharmacies and new prescriptions filled with independents were down in 2010, though the number of refilled prescriptions continued to grow slightly, according to the latest 2011 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, released Monday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The number of new independent pharmacies and new prescriptions filled with independents were down in 2010, though the number of refilled prescriptions continued to grow slightly, according to the latest 2011 NCPA Digest, sponsored by Cardinal Health, released Monday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

Now in its 79th year of publication, the NCPA Digest reports these 2010 findings:

October 7, 2011

A growing number of people with Medicare are using free preventive services provided by the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said.

WASHINGTON — A growing number of people with Medicare are using free preventive services provided by the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said.

October 7, 2011

MMM Healthcare and PMC Medicare Choice on Friday announced that MMM and PMC members will continue to have access to the Walgreens pharmacy network.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — MMM Healthcare and PMC Medicare Choice on Friday announced that MMM and PMC members will continue to have access to the Walgreens pharmacy network. Walgreens and Express Scripts have reached an agreement specifically regarding these plans in Puerto Rico, according to a Walgreens spokesperson.

October 4, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

October 3, 2011

Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

BETHESDA, Md. — Coventry Health Care on Saturday announced that it has partnered with Walgreens, Walmart and Target for 2012 to offer a Medicare prescription drug plan known as First Health Value Plus.

As Coventry’s newest Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, First Health Value Plus is the lowest premium, zero-dollar deductible Part D plan in the United States, the company stated.

October 3, 2011

CVS/pharmacy has teamed up with Aetna to offer Medicare beneficiaries a co-branded prescription drug plan.

HARTFORD, Conn. — CVS/pharmacy has teamed up with Aetna to offer Medicare beneficiaries a co-branded prescription drug plan.

The companies said the new Aetna CVS/pharmacy Prescription Drug Plan will be made available to beneficiaries in 43 states and Washington, D.C. The plan offers a $26 monthly plan premium and has no deductible for generic drugs. In addition, members will have the following benefits when they fill their prescriptions at a CVS/pharmacy (compared with a nonpreferred network pharmacy):

October 3, 2011

Humana will offer Medicare Part D beneficiaries a prescription drug plan co-branded with Wal-Mart Stores, the two companies said Monday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana will offer Medicare Part D beneficiaries a prescription drug plan co-branded with Wal-Mart Stores, the two companies said Monday.

The plan, originally launched in 2010, will be launched again for 2012 and will include savings on monthly plan premiums, prescription drug copayments and cost-shares for beneficiaries.

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 15, 2011

Walgreens on Thursday morning argued for its motion to stay an Express Scripts suit filed against the Chicago-based pharmacy on Sept. 7, pending arbitration.

CHICAGO — Walgreens on Thursday morning argued for its motion to stay an Express Scripts suit filed against the Chicago-based pharmacy on Sept. 7, pending arbitration.

In its lawsuit, Express Scripts contends that Walgreens is actively recruiting patients and seeks immediate relief from Walgreens' informing patients that the company's 7,760 stores will not be part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network at the top of the year.

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.

September 12, 2011

While it has been a boon to elderly Americans, Medicare Part D includes a complicating factor that has proven to be a headache.


While it has been a boon to elderly Americans, Medicare Part D includes a complicating factor that has proven to be a headache.


Despite its seemingly charming name, the doughnut hole has proven to be a headache for many seniors. Also known as the Medicare Part D coverage gap, the doughnut hole is when drug costs reach a point when the patient becomes responsible for the entire cost, and Medicare doesn’t pay for them again until they reach the catastrophic-coverage threshold. The hole and threshold change from year to year.


September 9, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling on Congress to scrutinize the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco and, in a letter submitted Friday to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, outlined the “problems” it believes would result from the mega-merger.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling on Congress to scrutinize the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco and, in a letter submitted Friday to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, outlined the “problems” it believes would result from the mega-merger.

The House panel held a hearing Friday titled “Health Care Industry Consolidation.”

September 8, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday that it issued a letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to urge collaboration with community pharmacy in developing solutions to curb healthcare costs, while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription medications and pharmacy services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced on Thursday that it issued a letter calling on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to urge collaboration with community pharmacy in developing solutions to curb healthcare costs, while at the same time maintaining patient access to prescription medications and pharmacy services.

Highlighting the accessibility of local pharmacists, the letter urged improved medication adherence as key to improved health and reduced costs.
 

September 8, 2011

A group representing independent pharmacies is urging Congress to cut the deficit by reducing healthcare expenditures, but "without compromising patients' access to their pharmacy of choice or harming local jobs."

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing independent pharmacies is urging Congress to cut the deficit by reducing healthcare expenditures, but "without compromising patients' access to their pharmacy of choice or harming local jobs."

August 17, 2011

Medicare Part D beneficiaries who enter the "doughnut hole," where they have to pay 100% of previously subsidized prescription costs, are twice as likely to discontinue their medications as they are to switch to more affordable or generic medications, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Medicare Part D beneficiaries who enter the "doughnut hole," where they have to pay 100% of previously subsidized prescription costs, are twice as likely to discontinue their medications as they are to switch to more affordable or generic medications, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital and CVS Caremark.