Content about Medicare

November 29, 2012

With new payment models beginning to change the way hospitals and health providers are reimbursed for their services, health plan payers scrambling to control unsustainable medical costs and health information technology linking up the patient care silos, a more integrated and patient-centric care model is emerging out of the chaos of a health system in transformation. 


With new payment models beginning to change the way hospitals and health providers are reimbursed for their services, health plan payers scrambling to control unsustainable medical costs and health information technology linking up the patient care silos, a more integrated and patient-centric care model is emerging out of the chaos of a health system in transformation. 


November 28, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday urged Congress to examine wasteful spending on potentially unnecessary medication refills, such as through mail order, as lawmakers held a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Examining Options to Combat Health Care Waste, Fraud and Abuse.”

WASHINGTON — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday urged Congress, such as through mail order, as lawmakers held a House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Examining Options to Combat Health Care Waste, Fraud and Abuse.”

According to the House committee’s web site, its lawmakers are concerned about Medicare spending in particular and the hearing is intended to “explore potential new approaches to address these substantial and ongoing threats.”

November 28, 2012

Smart Insurance on Wednesday announced it is working with Walgreens to offer in-store consultations with licensed SmartD Rx plan agents, available at select Walgreens to speak with Medicare beneficiaries who are either enrolling in a new Part D prescription drug plan or evaluating their current coverage options.

CLEVELAND — Smart Insurance on Wednesday announced it is working with Walgreens to offer in-store consultations with licensed SmartD Rx plan agents, available at select Walgreens to speak with Medicare beneficiaries who are either enrolling in a new Part D prescription drug plan or evaluating their current coverage options.

November 21, 2012

During Fred's third-quarter earnings call, the company told analysts it was testing a new, smaller format drug-dollar store concept and that its partnership with Diplomat was creating new clinical capabilities for the chain, which still sees pharmacy as a major growth opportunity.

The more Memphis-area patients continue singing those Delta blues, the more they're going to be scuffling through Fred's doors in their blue suede shoes. Effectively serving that economically-challenged patient is just one reason why Fred's third-quarter call this week should resonate across the industry. Because Fred's is in pursuit of two trends that are critical to its future — a specialty pharmacy solution that gains Fred's entree into the only growth-game in pharmacy, and an answer to its big-box competitors with a small-footprint, dollar-store/pharmacy hybrid.

November 21, 2012

Each year, we say goodbye to the current year and welcome in the New Year full of hope and aspirations for a successful year ahead. Customers turn out in droves for “New Year, New You” specials and when they reach the register, the retail pharmacy world knows the scenario quite well.

Each year, we say good-bye to the current year and welcome in the New Year full of hope and aspirations for a successful year ahead. Customers turn out in droves for “New Year, New You” specials and when they reach the register, the retail pharmacy world knows the scenario quite well. In a few short weeks’ time, you and your staff will be asking these all too familiar questions, “Did you have any insurance changes? Did you have a change in benefits?  Did you know your brand drug is now available in generic?” and so on.

November 9, 2012

Earlier this week, DSN reported that members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain 10 generic hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

It's certainly good news for people with high blood pressure, but it also has big implications for the pharmacy retail industry.

Earlier this week, DSN reported that members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain 10 generic hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

It's certainly good news for people with high blood pressure, but it also has big implications for the pharmacy retail industry.

November 8, 2012

Members of a prescription-drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Members of a prescription drug program offered by Humana to Medicare beneficiaries will soon be able to obtain hypertension drugs from Walmart for a penny.

That's right: $0.01.

November 7, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended seven U.S. Representatives for recently writing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to urge the agency to allow independent community pharmacists to continue same-day home delivery of diabetes test supplies to certain Medicare beneficiaries.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended seven U.S. Representatives for recently writing the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to urge the agency to allow independent community pharmacists to continue same-day home delivery of diabetes test supplies to certain Medicare beneficiaries. 

November 7, 2012

A new Walgreens study examining the impact of 90-day medication refills at community pharmacies compared to 30-day refills for Medicaid patients found that across four therapeutic categories, patients with 90-day refills had greater medication adherence and greater persistency, nominal wastage and more cost savings.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — A new Walgreens study examining the impact of 90-day medication refills at community pharmacies compared to 30-day refills for Medicaid patients found that across four therapeutic categories, patients with 90-day refills had greater medication adherence and greater persistency, nominal wastage and more cost savings. The study, titled "Medication Days’ Supply, Adherence, Wastage and Cost Among Chronic Patients in Medicaid," was published in Medicare & Medicaid Research Review and released Wednesday.

November 6, 2012

Coming off a strong third quarter, CVS Caremark executives expressed confidence that the company’s integrated retail/pharmacy benefit manager model and the unique programs and services it is able to deliver customers and clients are “making the difference,” president and CEO Larry Merlo told analysts during a Tuesday morning earnings call.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Coming off a strong third quarter, CVS Caremark executives expressed confidence that the company’s integrated retail/pharmacy benefit manager model and the unique programs and services it is able to deliver customers and clients are “making the difference,” president and CEO Larry Merlo told analysts during a Tuesday morning earnings call.

November 2, 2012

More health insurers are credentialing nurse practitioners as primary care providers, but there is room for improvement, according to a recent national survey of health insurers.

PHILADELPHIA — More health insurers are credentialing nurse practitioners as primary care providers, but there is room for improvement, according to a recent national survey of health insurers.

The survey of health insurers, specifically Health Maintenance Organizations — conducted by the National Nursing Centers Consortium, a support organization for nurse-led care — found that 75% of HMOs credential with nurse practitioners as primary care providers, an increase over previous years.

October 25, 2012

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation on Thursday applauded a report illustrating the impact medication adherence can and should have on reducing hospital readmission rates, and the critical role community pharmacists play in coordinated care approaches to enhancing patient medication adherence.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation on Thursday applauded a report illustrating the impact medication adherence can and should have on reducing hospital readmission rates, and the critical role community pharmacists play in coordinated care approaches to enhancing patient medication adherence.

October 19, 2012

Improving medication adherence may be the key to reducing hospital re-admission rates, according to a new issue brief by a health policy research organization.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Improving medication adherence may be the key to reducing hospital re-admission rates, according to a new issue brief by a health policy research organization.

October 18, 2012

A company that makes health kiosks has joined a campaign to promote blood pressure management among patients with hypertension.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A company that makes health kiosks has joined a campaign to promote blood pressure management among patients with hypertension.

October 16, 2012

CVS Caremark has announced that it has reached a civil settlement with the United States Department of Justice regarding its investigation into certain business practices of a subsidiary of Longs Drug Stores, which began prior to the acquisition of Longs by CVS Caremark in October 2008.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced that it has reached a civil settlement with the United States Department of Justice regarding its investigation into certain business practices of a subsidiary of Longs Drug Stores, which began prior to the acquisition of Longs by CVS Caremark in October 2008. 

Pursuant to the settlement agreement, RxAmerica has expressly denied any liability.

October 16, 2012

Emerging multidisciplinary healthcare models, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, promise to elevate quality and lower costs by harnessing the power of provider, payer and patient collaboration. Often overlooked in the coordinated care equation, however, is the integral role pharmacists can play in delivering efficient and effective care.

Emerging multidisciplinary healthcare models, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, promise to elevate quality and lower costs by harnessing the power of provider, payer and patient collaboration. Often overlooked in the coordinated care equation, however, is the integral role pharmacists can play in delivering efficient and effective care.

October 16, 2012

Walgreens pharmacists are on the frontlines of a new transition of care program, WellTransitions, which brings hospitals and health systems together with Walgreens in a coordinated care model designed to reduce readmission rates and overall healthcare costs while improving patient health outcomes and medication adherence, Walgreens announced.

 DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens pharmacists are on the frontlines of a new transition of care program, WellTransitions, which brings hospitals and health systems together with Walgreens in a coordinated care model designed to reduce readmission rates and overall healthcare costs while improving patient health outcomes and medication adherence, Walgreens announced Tuesday. The WellTransitions program is being rolled out as thousands of hospitals nationwide face possible penalties from Medicare for patient readmission rates that are too high, under a new law that took effect Oct.

October 15, 2012

With the start of Annual Enrollment Period on Monday for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is ready to help pharmacy patients who are enrolling in Medicare Part D for the first time or want to make a change to their current coverage plan.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — With the start of Annual Enrollment Period on Monday for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, CVS/pharmacy has announced that it is ready to help pharmacy patients who are enrolling in Medicare Part D for the first time or want to make a change to their current coverage plan. 

October 15, 2012

Walmart and Humana have teamed up again to help Medicare beneficiaries afford their prescriptions. With annual enrollment open until Dec. 7, 2012, for 2013 Medicare plans, the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan announced that it offers one monthly plan premium of $18.50 a month for beneficiaries in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., regardless of where they live.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart and Humana have teamed up again to help Medicare beneficiaries afford their prescriptions. With annual enrollment open until Dec. 7, 2012, for 2013 Medicare plans, the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan announced that it offers one monthly plan premium of $18.50 a month for beneficiaries in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., regardless of where they live.

October 15, 2012

Rite Aid is making its pharmacists available free of charge to seniors and their caregivers for personalized Medicare Part D consultations.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is making its pharmacists available free of charge to seniors and their caregivers for personalized Medicare Part D consultations. Seniors can also use Rite Aid's dedicated Medicare Advisor comparison tools online at RiteAid.com/medicareadvisor.

October 15, 2012

Walgreens will be offering free, personalized Part D plan comparison reports to help beneficiaries identify the plan that best meets their prescription drug needs, the retail pharmacy operator announced Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens will be offering free, personalized Part D plan comparison reports to help beneficiaries identify the plan that best meets their prescription drug needs, the retail pharmacy operator announced Monday. Plan reviews are available on a walk-in basis or by scheduling an appointment at Walgreens.com/medicare, Walgreens stated.

October 11, 2012

Thirteen million more Americans had health insurance in June 2012 than 18 months earlier, according to a new report by BusinessOne Technologies, a healthcare technology and data company.

BENSALEM, Pa. — Thirteen million more Americans had health insurance in June 2012 than 18 months earlier, according to a new report by BusinessOne Technologies, a healthcare technology and data company.

October 10, 2012

With the Medicare Annual Election Period set to begin Oct. 15, Walgreens on Wednesday announced it will be a part of preferred pharmacy networks of four national Medicare Part D plan sponsors: Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With the Medicare Annual Election Period set to begin Oct. 15, Walgreens on Wednesday announced it will be a part of preferred pharmacy networks of four national Medicare Part D plan sponsors: Coventry, Humana, SmartD Rx and UnitedHealthcare.

October 9, 2012

New, holistic models for integrated, patient-centered care are emerging from the fog of health reform almost as fast as you can say “accountable care organization.” But pharmacy and retail clinic operators aren’t waiting for ACOs to fully ripen.

New, holistic models for integrated, patient-centered care are emerging from the fog of health reform almost as fast as you can say “accountable care organization.” But pharmacy and retail clinic operators aren’t waiting for ACOs to fully ripen; they’re forging new alliances with hospital-based health systems and building the kind of continuity-of-care networks that could be a template for the new era of evidence-based medicine and improved patient outcomes.


October 9, 2012

Beyond 2013, competitive bidding around durable medical equipment supplies could push many pharmacy operations out of the diabetes business altogether.

Beyond 2013, competitive bidding around durable medical equipment supplies could push many pharmacy operations out of the diabetes business altogether. “By 2016, all durable medical equipment suppliers, mail-order and retail, will be subject to competitive bidding or competitive bidding pricing for [diabetes testing supplies],” noted the NCPA in recent written testimony to Congress. According to an NCPA poll, that could drive as many as 92% of independents out of the 
diabetes business.