Content about Medicare

May 11, 2011

CVS Caremark’s annual meeting of stockholders held Wednesday morning was an emotional and momentous occasion for the company as it marked the official retirement of Tom Ryan, former chairman and CEO, and the beginning of a new chapter as Larry Merlo takes the reigns as CEO.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s annual meeting of stockholders held Wednesday morning was an emotional and momentous occasion for the company as it marked the official retirement of Tom Ryan, former chairman and CEO, and the beginning of a new chapter as Larry Merlo takes the reigns as CEO.

April 28, 2011

CVS Caremark is expected to complete its acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American on April 29, the company has announced.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark is expected to complete its acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American on April 29, the company has announced.

As previously reported, CVS Caremark will pay Universal American shareholders cash consideration of $1.25 billion plus the excess capital in the entities that operate Universal American's Medicare Part D business, less Universal American's outstanding trust preferred securities, which are being assumed by CVS Caremark.

April 25, 2011

With a new leader at the helm, a robust management team in place and an unwavering focus on driving medication adherence and reducing healthcare costs, CVS Caremark remains squarely on the growth path and continues to play an increasingly important role in U.S. health care with its far-reaching store network and arsenal of products and services.


April 25, 2011

The typical first-time customer walking into a Hy-Vee store will probably see it as a supermarket, but what makes Hy-Vee stick out is its strong emphasis on pharmacy programs and health and wellness.


April 25, 2011

In response to the news last month that Rite Aid named Tony Montini EVP merchandising, DSN shared this exchange with an online reader.


In response to the news last month that Rite Aid named Tony Montini EVP merchandising, DSN shared this exchange with an online reader:


Dear DSN;


I am a Rite Aid pharmacist in the small desert town of Needles, Calif. Needles is a poor town with a lot of our business being Medi-Cal — state Medicaid. ... This is the rub: There are no Medi-Cal providers in the city! Most people have to go to the emergency room, or those with Medicare D plans [travel] 20 miles across the Colorado River to Arizona. ...


April 15, 2011

CVS Caremark announced on Friday that it has agreed to pay $17.5 million, to be allocated among the federal government and 10 participating states, to resolve a civil complaint concerning how its CVS/pharmacy retail pharmacies submitted reimbursement claims in certain states for prescriptions filled for "dual eligible" patients who have coverage under both Medicaid and a third-party insurance plan.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Friday that it has agreed to pay $17.5 million, to be allocated among the federal government and 10 participating states, to resolve a civil complaint concerning how its CVS/pharmacy retail pharmacies submitted reimbursement claims in certain states for prescriptions filled for "dual eligible" patients who have coverage under both Medicaid and a third-party insurance plan.

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 6, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week it would delay implementation of its proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short-cycle” rule for one year.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week it would delay implementation of its proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short-cycle” rule for one year.

April 1, 2011

Farmers and tradesmen. That’s who politicians used to be. Back then, legislative initiatives weren’t splintered by a hundred different agendas. But the reality of today’s lawmaking process is so much more convoluted; that’s why educating policy-makers around the hardwood issues is so paramount.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Farmers and tradesmen. That’s who politicians used to be. Back then, legislative initiatives weren’t splintered by a hundred different agendas. But the reality of today’s lawmaking process is so much more convoluted; that’s why educating policy-makers around the hardwood issues is so paramount.

March 31, 2011

The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Tuesday honored Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., with its Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Management Association on Tuesday honored Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., with its Rx Safety and Healthcare Leadership Award. The award recognizes public officials for their leadership and commitment to policies that support and promote the safe and efficient delivery of medicines.

March 29, 2011

Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

March 24, 2011

In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Community Pharmacists Association and 20 healthcare groups expressed their concerns over the proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short cycle” rule.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Community Pharmacists Association and 20 healthcare groups expressed their concerns over the proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short cycle” rule.

The groups recommended that CMS postpone its implementation of a rule that would require dispensing certain prescription medications in seven-day supplies or less, rather than the traditional 30-day supply.

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.

March 9, 2011

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

March 7, 2011

Few supermarkets make health and wellness as central to their business as Hy-Vee, a West Des Moines, Iowa-based chain.

In December 2010, the chain announced it would become one of a number of retailers — including Kroger and Safeway — to participate in Pharmacy Saver, a new program offered in collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, the country’s largest Medicare Part D insurer. The program was launched, in part, as a response to the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan, launched in late September 2010.

March 4, 2011

Walgreens’ winning of an award for its MTM services came right before it joined the Care Continuum Alliance — a group of more than 200 stakeholders that provide such services as wellness and prevention programs and management of chronic conditions — of which CVS Caremark already was a member.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Walgreens’ winning of an award for its MTM services came right before it joined the Care Continuum Alliance — a group of more than 200 stakeholders that provide such services as wellness and prevention programs and management of chronic conditions — of which CVS Caremark already was a member.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens takes top honors for MTM services. For the full story, click here)

March 3, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have expressed their support for H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association have expressed their support for H.R. 891, the Medication Therapy Management Benefits Act of 2011, as it would expand the pool of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who can qualify for the service provided by a licensed pharmacist to any patient with a chronic medical condition. Currently, only those patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions are eligible.

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Mike Ross, D-Ark., introduced the bill.

March 1, 2011

In connection with the previously announced $1.25 billion acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American by CVS Caremark, both companies have announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and RYE BROOK, N.Y. — In connection with the previously announced $1.25 billion acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American by CVS Caremark, both companies have announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of second quarter 2011 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of Universal American shareholders and state regulatory approvals.

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 18, 2011

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force on Thursday charged 111 defendants in nine cities — including doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners and executives — for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving more than $225 million in false billing. The operation marks the largest federal healthcare-fraud takedown.

WASHINGTON — The Medicare Fraud Strike Force on Thursday charged 111 defendants in nine cities — including doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners and executives — for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving more than $225 million in false billing. The operation marks the largest federal healthcare-fraud takedown.

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 16, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and its members from across the country once again are flocking to Capitol Hill for RxImpact Day, a groundbreaking, two-day event that enables pharmacists to meet with members of Congress to discuss the vital role of retail pharmacy within the U.S. healthcare system and its ability to help reduce annual healthcare costs.

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and its members from across the country once again are flocking to Capitol Hill for RxImpact Day, a groundbreaking, two-day event that enables pharmacists to meet with members of Congress to discuss the vital role of retail pharmacy within the U.S. healthcare system and its ability to help reduce annual healthcare costs.

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

CVS Caremark announced on Thursday an increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales and a boost in retail pharmacy revenues as pharmacy comparable-store sales benefited from the Maintenance Choice program.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Thursday an increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales and a boost in retail pharmacy revenues as pharmacy comparable-store sales benefited from the Maintenance Choice program.

"I'm pleased with our earnings this quarter, which were in line with our expectations. Our retail business continued to produce industry-leading same-store sales and achieved an all-time record operating margin," stated Larry Merlo, who currently serves as president and COO and will be taking the reins as CEO in March.