Content about Medicare

April 2, 2013

Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

WASHINGTON — Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

March 29, 2013

A new Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, furthers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s goals for health promotion and the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions.

WASHINGTON — A new Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), furthers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s goals for health promotion and the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions.

March 22, 2013

TreatMyUTI.com is an online service founded by a group of physicians that offers online access to physician diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections with no office visit, exam or lab test required.

This is important because it speaks to a much larger trend within health care, and that’s the continued rise of telehealth-type services as patients and providers increasingly battle a crisis of access and affordability of health care.

TreatMyUTI.com is an online service founded by a group of physicians that offers online access to physician diagnosis and treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections with no office visit, exam or lab test required.
 

March 22, 2013

Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

WASHINGTON — Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

The bipartisan Fostering Independence Through Technology Act, S. 596, would create a pilot program to provide budget neutral incentives for home health agencies across the country to use remote patient monitoring to better monitor Medicare beneficiaries, improve health outcomes and reduce Medicare expenditures.

March 19, 2013

Last week, I wrote about Medication Therapy Management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about – wait for it – medication therapy management.

Why? Because MTM is important, vitally important, to the future of community pharmacy, and one of the key health and prevention services that will define the profession in the era of health reform and evidence-based health care.

Last week, I wrote about medication therapy management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about — wait for it — medication therapy management.

March 15, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores applauded the introduction of S. 557, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with the support of original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Al Franken, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today applauded the introduction of S. 557, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with the support of original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Al Franken, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. The legislation seeks to expand access to MTM services for senior citizens enrolled in the Medicare program.

March 15, 2013

U.S. Senators Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., introduced legislation written to lower healthcare costs by helping more seniors better manage their prescriptions.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Pat Roberts, R-Kan. and Kay Hagan, D-N.C. on Thursday introduced legislation written to lower healthcare costs by helping more seniors better manage their prescriptions. The Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act will allow seniors with any high-cost chronic illness to review all their medication and develop a plan of action with a pharmacist.

March 14, 2013

Amid a tide of automatic spending cuts resulting from the failure of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget, the generic drug lobby has offered some suggestions to generate savings.

WASHINGTON — Amid a tide of automatic spending cuts resulting from the failure of Congress and the White House to agree on a budget, the generic drug lobby has offered some suggestions to generate savings.

March 12, 2013

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association's Annual Executive Conference was sold out for the first time since 2001, CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville told a packed morning session, and that is a strong prognosticator as to the health and vitality of the self-care industry.

NAPLES, Fla. — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association's Annual Executive Conference was sold out for the first time since 2001, CHPA president and CEO Scott Melville told a packed morning session, and that is a strong prognosticator as to the health and vitality of the self-care industry. 

March 12, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the NACDS Chain Members and Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) breakfast, which will be held on April 22 during the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

 ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the NACDS Chain Members and Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) breakfast, which will be held on April 22 during the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

March 8, 2013

While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

ST. LOUIS — While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

March 8, 2013

A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support.

WASHINGTON — A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support. 

Health policy research group NEHI cites that only 50% of patients take their medications properly as prescribed by their doctor, which costs the nation more than $290 billion annually in avoidable health spending annually. 

March 8, 2013

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively.

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively. 

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.  

March 6, 2013

Prescription-only pseudoephedrine laws result in well more than $278 million in additional burdens to taxpayers, according to a study published by Matrix Global Advisors.

WASHINGTON — Prescription-only pseudoephedrine laws result in well more than $278 million in additional burdens to taxpayers, according to a study published by Matrix Global Advisors on Monday. 

March 4, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association submitted written comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action on a wide range of what NCPA characterizes as "anti-patient, anti-pharmacist practices," the association announced.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Friday submitted written comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action on a wide range of what NCPA characterizes as "anti-patient, anti-pharmacist practices," the association announced. 

March 1, 2013

Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues a "call letter" to lay out various policies and requirements for the coming program year within the Medicare program.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues a "call letter" to lay out various policies and requirements for the coming program year within the Medicare program.

March 1, 2013

Rite Aid announced Friday that it had expanded its "virtual clinic" model to additional markets, now offering NowClinic Online Care service in 58 stores.

Retail clinics are an area in which Rite Aid has not invested to the same degree as Walgreens and CVS, but NowClinic shows that there are more ways to offer clinical services in a retail pharmacy setting than building an actual clinic. In 2011, Rite Aid became the first to provide such virtual clinics in a retail pharmacy setting when it launched the program as a pilot in nine stores in Detroit.

Rite Aid announced Friday that it had expanded its "virtual clinic" model to additional markets, now offering NowClinic Online Care service in 58 stores.

Retail clinics are an area in which Rite Aid has not invested to the same degree as Walgreens and CVS, but NowClinic shows that there are more ways to offer clinical services in a retail pharmacy setting than building an extra clinic. In 2011, Rite Aid became the first to provide such virtual clinics in a retail pharmacy setting when it launched the program as a pilot in nine stores in Detroit.

February 28, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for its hearing on “Fostering Innovation to Fight Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Health Care.”

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for its hearing on “Fostering Innovation to Fight Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Health Care.” NCPA’s statement called for pharmacy audits to focus on true waste, fraud and abuse as opposed to clerical errors, and for policymakers to examine mail-order waste in federal health programs. 

February 28, 2013

Medicare and Medicaid are working with the private sector to create a roadmap for the future of healthcare delivery, and a congressional hearing was convened Thursday to ensure it does that.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Medicare and Medicaid are working with the private sector to create a roadmap for the future of healthcare delivery, and a congressional hearing was convened Thursday to ensure it does that.

The Senate Finance Committee hearing, titled "Delivery System Reform: Progress Report from CMS," included Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

February 27, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended a bipartisan push for the Government Accountability Office to review the impact on patients of sharp reductions in reimbursement for diabetes test supplies provided by community pharmacies to Medicare beneficiaries.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended a bipartisan push for the Government Accountability Office to review the impact on patients of sharp reductions in reimbursement for diabetes test supplies provided by community pharmacies to Medicare beneficiaries. 

February 26, 2013

A newly conducted study of millions of Medicare Part D prescription drug event data has found that community pharmacies provide 90-day medication supplies at lower cost than mail-order pharmacies and that local pharmacists substitute lower-cost generic drugs more often when compared with mail-order pharmacies.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A newly conducted study of millions of Medicare Part D prescription drug event data has found that community pharmacies provide 90-day medication supplies at lower cost than mail-order pharmacies and that local pharmacists substitute lower-cost generic drugs more often when compared with mail-order pharmacies.

February 22, 2013

The YMCA is offering a demonstration project to show that its YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program — part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's broader National Diabetes Prevention Program — can lower the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and reduce medical costs incurred by Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is funding the project, whereby YMCAs in 17 communities that deliver the program will offer it at no cost to 10,000 Medicare enrollees over the next three years, and the YMCA expects it to save Medicare $4.2 million over three years and $53 million over six years.

It's been said that, "It takes a village to raise a child," and because chronic disease is an issue that affects communities as a whole - not just individuals - it would make sense for community-based organizations to target a growing national health crisis like the diabetes epidemic.

The YMCA is offering a demonstration project to show that its YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program — part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's broader National Diabetes Prevention Program — can lower the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and reduce medical costs incurred by Medicare.

February 22, 2013

Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

Reuters reported that per-capita drug costs for Medicare Part D will drop from this year's $325 to $310 next year, and insurance premiums might go down as well.

February 19, 2013

The YMCA is sponsoring a diabetes-control program that some say could slow the disease's spread, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — The YMCA is sponsoring a diabetes-control program that some say could slow the disease's spread, according to published reports.

February 13, 2013

More than seven dozen members of the House of Representatives are urging the U.S. Postal Service to continue delivering medications to all Americans six days a week.

WASHINGTON — More than seven dozen members of the House of Representatives are urging the U.S. Postal Service to continue delivering medications to all Americans six days a week.