Content about Medicare

October 1, 2013

SoloHealth and eHealth, parent company of eHealthInsurance, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to help expand consumer awareness and enrollment in individual, family and Medicare health insurance plans.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — SoloHealth and eHealth, parent company of eHealthInsurance, on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership to help expand consumer awareness and enrollment in individual, family and Medicare health insurance plans. 

The partnership makes eHealth’s plan selection and comparison tools available, in selected geographies, to many of the more than 130,000 people who use the SoloHealth Stations every day across America. SoloHealth Station users will be able to explore their health insurance options via eHealthInsurance.com.

October 1, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

NEW YORK — The Department of Health and Human Services will furlough more than half of its employees due to the government shutdown, the agency said.

In announcing a contingency staffing plan for the shutdown, which started Tuesday when Congress failed to pass a budget in time, HHS said 52% of its employees would be on furlough, totaling 40,512 members of its staff. The remaining 48%, or 37,686 employees, would remain. The scheduled introduction of the health insurance exchanges mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will also continue.

October 1, 2013

Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

Rite Aid said its stores around the country would offer Medicare Advisor to help Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers find the plan that suits them best starting on Oct. 15.

October 1, 2013

Walgreens posted a sales gain of 0.8% for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, reaching a record $72.2 billion and filling a record 821 million prescriptions.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens posted a sales gain of 0.8% for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, reaching a record $72.2 billion and filling a record 821 million prescriptions. That volume of prescriptions filled helped Walgreens boost its retail pharmacy market share for the fiscal year to 19.1%. 

Early morning trading boosted Walgreens' share price from a close of $53.80 on Monday to $56.06, an increase of 4.2%.

October 1, 2013

Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

INDIANAPOLIS — Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

Together, WellPoint said, members had access to more than 11,000 locations around the country. The preferred pharmacy network is part of all of WellPoint's affiliated Part D standalone prescription drug plans and most of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans.

September 19, 2013

Inovalon and Walgreens on Thursday announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement to provide Inovalon's data-driven encounter support platform, Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite (ePASS) within Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens to support improvements in managed care quality and performance.

BOWIE, Md. — Inovalon and Walgreens on Thursday announced that they have entered into a multi-year agreement to provide Inovalon's data-driven encounter support platform, Electronic Patient Assessment Solution Suite (ePASS) within Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens to support improvements in managed care quality and performance.

September 18, 2013

Walgreens announced that it will provide more than 160,000 eligible employees with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2014 through its proprietary “Live Well Benefits Store,” a marketplace that is an outsourced solution through Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday announced that it will provide more than 160,000 eligible employees with employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2014 through its proprietary “Live Well Benefits Store,” a marketplace that is an outsourced solution through Aon Hewitt Corporate Health Exchange. The Walgreens program provides more health coverage choices and an opportunity for most employees to lower their out-of-pocket healthcare costs next year.

September 17, 2013

Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

ST. LOUIS — Many seniors mistakenly think that health insurance exchanges will replace Medicare, according to a new survey, which attributes much of the confusion to "conflicting chatter" about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The survey, conducted in August by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts and titled 50 States of Confusion, comes as the OCT. 1, launch of the exchanges draws near. It included 1,101 seniors currently enrolled in a Medicare plan or who would be eligible for one within 12 months.

September 17, 2013

Market saturation will drive down the market for electronic medical records in the United States despite a spike last year resulting from government incentive funding, according to a new study.

TORONTO — Market saturation will drive down the market for electronic medical records in the United States despite a spike last year resulting from government incentive funding, according to a new study.

The Millennium Research Group predicts that due to Medicare penalties for hospitals and physicians that fail to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic medical records by 2015, most adoption will occur by then. But market saturation means that purchases of new systems will likely decline.

September 13, 2013

Nurse practitioners are increasingly playing a key role in helping patients stay on track in taking their medications as prescribed, with nearly half of NPs indicating that the time they spend on patient education has increased over the past two years, according to Manhattan Research’s “Taking the Pulse Nurses 2013” study.

Highlighting the important role that NPs play in today’s healthcare system is essential as millions of uninsured Americans come into the insurance fold in 2014 due to health reform amid a growing shortage of primary care physicians.

Nurse practitioners are increasingly playing a key role in helping patients stay on track in taking their medications as prescribed, with nearly half of NPs indicating that the time they spend on patient education has increased over the past two years, according to Manhattan Research’s “Taking the Pulse Nurses 2013” study.

September 13, 2013

Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — Health insurer UnitedHealthcare is sponsoring a weeklong education program for Medicare patients, the company said Friday.

Starting Sunday, one month before Medicare's annual open-enrollment period, UnitedHealthcare's National Medicare Education Week is designed to help baby boomers, existing beneficiaries, their families and caregivers learn more about Medicare. The open-enrollment period lasts from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

September 10, 2013

In its partnership with Niantic Labs, Duane Reade has gamified the shopping experience through an app called Ingress. No purchase is necessary, but who in New York walks into a Duane Reade and then out again empty-handed? It's a traffic builder and impulse purchase opportunity. And it's working.

In its partnership with Niantic Labs, Duane Reade has gamified the shopping experience through an app called Ingress. No purchase is necessary, but who in New York walks into a Duane Reade and then out again empty-handed? It's a traffic builder and impulse purchase opportunity. And it's working.

September 9, 2013

Giant Food has started offering flu vaccinations at all of its in-store pharmacies, the supermarket chain said.

LANDOVER, Md. – Giant Food has started offering flu vaccinations at all of its in-store pharmacies, the supermarket chain said Monday.

Giant, based in Landover, Md., and owned by Ahold USA, said customers with a Giant Pharmacy Prescription Savings Care would receive $10 off the regular price of a flu shot and that most major insurance plans and Medicare would be accepted. Also, customers will be eligible to receive a coupon book with more than $40 in savings from various vendors.

September 9, 2013

Kiosk maker SoloHealth will promote the new Health Insurance Marketplace and the website HealthCare.gov under an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, the company said Monday.

ATLANTA — Kiosk maker SoloHealth will promote the new Health Insurance Marketplace and the website HealthCare.gov under an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, the company said Monday.

September 9, 2013

Theranos and Walgreens on Monday announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide.

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Theranos and Walgreens on Monday announced a long-term partnership to bring access to Theranos’ new lab testing service through Walgreens pharmacies nationwide. As the service becomes available through Theranos Wellness Centers inside Walgreens stores, consumers will be able to access less invasive and more affordable clinician-directed lab testing. 

September 4, 2013

A patient-engagement and Medicare decision-making platform is now available in 500 pharmacies across the country.

NEW YORK — A patient-engagement and Medicare decision-making platform is now available in 500 pharmacies across the country.

iMedicare said the growth of the platform would help thousands of seniors enroll in affordable health insurance and prescription drug coverage by enabling pharmacists to help them shop for Medicare insurance plans, automatically integrating their prescription medications in one mobile system.

iMedicare works with major pharmacy software systems like Rx30, QS/1, Computer-Rx and others.

September 3, 2013

With the window for Medicare enrollment opening on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 7, Cardinal Health on Tuesday launched a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit to help its retail pharmacy customers educate the rapidly growing Medicare-eligible population about coverage options.

DUBLIN, Ohio — With the window for Medicare enrollment opening on Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 7, Cardinal Health on Tuesday launched a customizable Medicare Enrollment Toolkit to help its retail pharmacy customers educate the rapidly growing Medicare-eligible population about coverage options. 

August 29, 2013

A member of Congress is raising concerns about "preferred pharmacy" Medicare drug plans, according to an Alexandria, Va.-based trade group that represents independent pharmacies.

WASHINGTON — A member of Congress is raising concerns about "preferred pharmacy" Medicare drug plans, according to an Alexandria, Va.-based trade group that represents independent pharmacies.

August 16, 2013

Customers can visit any of the more than 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies to receive a flu shot, which are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B, from a Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist, subject to state regulations.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has announced that seasonal flu shots are now available at all Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide.

Customers can visit any of the more than 4,600 Rite Aid pharmacies to receive a flu shot, which are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Part B, from a Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacist, subject to state regulations.

August 14, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

In a statement NACDS sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, the Association is urging “commonsense” approaches to Medicare reform and emphasizing community pharmacy’s role in improving heath and controlling costs.

August 12, 2013

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton joined attendees for day two of the NACDS Total Store Expo Monday morning to discuss her experiences as secretary of state, leading diplomatic talks on a variety of foreign policy, and she spoke extensively about her work on health reform.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton joined attendees for day two of the NACDS Total Store Expo Monday morning to discuss her experiences as secretary of state, leading diplomatic talks on a variety of foreign policy, and she spoke extensively about her work on health reform.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 11, 2013

Changes in healthcare delivery today are influencing the way community pharmacy serves patients. That was the key message healthcare policy wizard Mark McClellan, M.P.A., M.D., PhD., had for attendees of an Aug. 9 industry general session in Seattle at Cardinal Health's annual Retail Business Conference.

SEATTLE — Changes in healthcare delivery today are influencing the way community pharmacy serves patients. That was the key message healthcare policy wizard Mark McClellan, M.P.A., M.D., PhD., had for attendees of an Aug. 9 industry general session in Seattle at Cardinal Health's annual Retail Business Conference.

August 8, 2013

Results of a recent federal survey of Medicare Part D claims is again roiling the sometimes strained relationship between independent and smaller-chain community pharmacies and managed care, and could herald a growing threat to those pharmacies as health plan payers and pharmacy benefit managers abandon open pharmacy provider networks and shift more business to exclusive preferred pharmacy groups.

Results of a recent federal survey of Medicare Part D claims is again roiling the sometimes strained relationship between independent and smaller-chain community pharmacies and managed care, and could herald a growing threat to those pharmacies as health plan payers and pharmacy benefit managers abandon open pharmacy provider networks and shift more business to exclusive preferred pharmacy groups.

August 6, 2013

A new report from UnitedHealthcare released Monday discusses engagement strategies and incentives used by its employees that contributed to improved workforce health and $107 million in healthcare cost-savings in the first 36 months, illustrating how employers can play a valuable role in spurring employees to take action to improve their health.

WASHINGTON — A new report from UnitedHealthcare released Monday discusses engagement strategies and incentives used by its employees that contributed to improved workforce health and $107 million in healthcare cost-savings in the first 36 months, illustrating how employers can play a valuable role in spurring employees to take action to improve their health.

August 5, 2013

Nearly a quarter of Americans are using electronic medical records for checking test results, refilling prescriptions and making appointments, while more than half say they would like to use them, but don't have access, according to a new study.

CHICAGO — Nearly a quarter of Americans are using electronic medical records for checking test results, refilling prescriptions and making appointments, while more than half say they would like to use them, but don't have access, according to a new study.

The study, by Aeffect and 88 Brand Partners, included 1,000 respondents ages 25 years to 55 years, finding that 24% of them used EMRs, while 52% would like to. At the same time, nearly half of patients take EMR access into consideration when choosing a healthcare provider.