Content about Medicare

December 9, 2013

A survey of more than 1,000 independent pharmacists finds that acquisition costs for generic drugs have spiked by as much as 1,000% this year.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A survey of more than 1,000 independent pharmacists finds that acquisition costs for generic drugs have spiked by as much as 1,000% this year.

December 9, 2013

Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures. 

December 4, 2013

The program to vaccinate children against chickenpox introduced in 1996 does not seem to be behind an increase in recent years in the number of cases of shingles, according to a new study.

NEW YORK — The program to vaccinate children against chickenpox introduced in 1996 does not seem to be behind an increase in recent years in the number of cases of shingles, according to a new study.

December 4, 2013

Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more — as much as 83% — than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

CMS examined claims from March 2012 and found 21 drug plans that routinely paid more for prescriptions filled through the mail compared to a community pharmacy.

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

November 21, 2013

Health care has begun to emphasize quality in addition to cost as a means to provide what is known as value-driven health care.

Health care has begun to emphasize quality in addition to cost as a means to provide what is known as value-driven health care. Of particular interest is the increased recognition of the value of the pharmacist’s role as a member of the healthcare team.

November 21, 2013

Pharmacists traditionally have been one of the most underutilized members of the healthcare team, possibly because they hadn’t been officially recognized as part of that team. That, however, is about to change.

Pharmacists traditionally have been one of the most underutilized members of the healthcare team, possibly because they hadn’t been officially recognized as part of that team. That, however, is about to change.

November 19, 2013

A pair of Congress leaders — Reps. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Martha Roby, R-Ala. — on Tuesday advocated for community pharmacy with letters addressed to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Reps. Doug Collins, R-Ga., and Martha Roby, R-Ala., on Tuesday advocated for community pharmacy with letters addressed to the leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Ways and Means Committee. 

In serving Medicare seniors, community pharmacies should be subject to the same three-year audit review period as hospitals, and not forced to document 10-year-old claims, the Representatives suggested.  

November 15, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

Why is this so important? Well, he’s a physician having previously practiced with Brigham Internal Medicine Associates. He also served as assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and served as director, research and rapid-cycle evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And what’s especially interesting to note — as highlighted by CVS Caremark — is that Shrank is “experienced in pharmaceutical outcomes research.”

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

November 13, 2013

Theranos and Walgreens on Wednesday opened new Theranos Wellness Centers located at Walgreens stores in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

PHOENIX — Theranos and Walgreens on Wednesday opened new Theranos Wellness Centers located at Walgreens stores in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This marks the next step in Theranos and Walgreens planned national rollout of Theranos Wellness Centers, and the first expansion of the new laboratory services outside of California. 

November 12, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

In this role, Shrank will focus on the development of innovative pharmacy solutions to help improve the quality of care while lowering costs in order to help health care providers deliver services to distinct patient populations.

November 8, 2013

Creating a home destination center for diabetic patients stocked with products appropriate to their condition —not only including sugar tablets, gels and liquids, but also nutritional supplements, homeopathic products, skin creams and lotions, oral care solutions, pain relief products and hypoglycemic products — has gained in importance thanks to the price pressures associated with competitive bidding in the diabetes space.

November 8, 2013

It’s called medication synchronization, and the concept is simple enough — shifting patients to a synchronized, easy-to-comply-with, once-a-month prescription refill program so they can pick up all their medications with one visit to the pharmacy each month, instead of multiple trips.

It’s called medication synchronization, and the concept is simple enough — shifting patients to a synchronized, easy-to-comply-with, once-a-month prescription refill program so they can pick up all their medications with one visit to the pharmacy each month, instead of multiple trips.

October 30, 2013

Community pharmacy is an important healthcare partner in providing cost-saving solutions within the healthcare system.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Community pharmacy is an important healthcare partner in providing cost-saving solutions within the healthcare system by helping to improve medication adherence, administering vaccinations and increasing the use of generic drugs. That was a key message of a statement sent by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to Budget Committee conferees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

October 22, 2013

Baroma on Tuesday announced a strategic relationship with Walgreens that will bring pharmacists and hospital staff together to help reduce re-admissions and increase medication adherence for Baroma’s accountable care organization.

MIAMI — Baroma on Tuesday announced a strategic relationship with Walgreens that will bring pharmacists and hospital staff together to help reduce re-admissions and increase medication adherence for Baroma’s accountable care organization.

October 16, 2013

Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

LEBANON, N.H. — Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

October 15, 2013

CVS/pharmacy is offering its senior patients a new way to compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans during the annual enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, the pharmacy retailer has announced.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is offering its senior patients a new way to compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans during the annual enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, the pharmacy retailer has announced.
 

October 15, 2013

An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

SAN ANTONIO — An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

October 15, 2013

Calling it a "looming threat," the National Council on Patient Information and Education released a 10-step plan to draw attention to the problem of poor medication adherence among elderly people with multiple chronic conditions.

WASHINGTON — Calling it a "looming threat," the National Council on Patient Information and Education released a 10-step plan to draw attention to the problem of poor medication adherence among elderly people with multiple chronic conditions.

October 14, 2013

More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by eHealth, found that 78% of respondents don't compare prices, but that the average beneficiary could have saved more than $600 this year on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs if he had. The study was based on an analysis of more than 450,000 unique visitor sessions during Medicare's 2013 Annual Enrollment Period.

October 14, 2013

Johnson & Johnson on Monday announced that Mark McClellan, senior fellow in economic studies and director of the Initiative on Value and Innovation in Health Care at the Brookings Institution, will join the company's board of directors on Oct. 15. McClellan will serve on the regulatory, compliance and government affairs committee, as well as the science, technology and sustainability committee.

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Monday announced that Mark McClellan, senior fellow in economic studies and director of the Initiative on Value and Innovation in Health Care at the Brookings Institution, will join the company's board of directors on Oct. 15. McClellan will serve on the regulatory, compliance and government affairs committee, as well as the science, technology and sustainability committee.

October 14, 2013

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday. 

October 10, 2013

Quantity and quality: Those are the two metrics by which any pharmacy operation is measured — quantity of prescriptions dispensed and quality of services provided. Quantity keeps you in business; quality keeps your patients coming back.

It’s a constant challenge for a small operator to score high on both metrics, but that’s exactly what McKesson’s 2013 Pharmacy of the Year Award recipient Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, of Desloge, Mo., has done.

Quantity and quality: Those are the two metrics by which any pharmacy operation is measured — quantity of prescriptions dispensed and quality of services provided. Quantity keeps you in business; quality keeps your patients coming back.

It’s a constant challenge for a small operator to score high on both metrics, but that’s exactly what McKesson’s 2013 Pharmacy of the Year Award recipient Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy, of Desloge, Mo., has done.

October 10, 2013

For Tom Davis, co-owner of Kiowa Health Mart Pharmacy, in Eads, Colo., technology has always been critical to the operation. “We put in our first pharmacy system in 1982. At the time, we may have been one of the first systems in Colorado, to be honest,” Davis told DSN.

For Tom Davis, co-owner of Kiowa Health Mart Pharmacy, in Eads, Colo., technology has always been critical to the operation. “We put in our first pharmacy system in 1982. At the time, we may have been one of the first systems in Colorado, to be honest,” Davis told DSN.

Davis, a 38-year pharmacy veteran — 25 years with Health Mart — essentially organizes technology into 1-of-3 buckets:

October 7, 2013

Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK — Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.