Content about Medicare

October 9, 2012

Remember back in 2009, when some on Wall Street swore the sky was falling as Caremark came off a tricky selling season? Oh, how times have changed.


Remember back in 2009, when some on Wall Street swore the sky was falling as Caremark came off a tricky selling season? Oh, how times have changed.


“Everything we’ve seen this year demonstrates that CVS is a stable company that is well-positioned to take advantage of growth opportunities in the industry,” stated Barclays Capital analyst Meredith Adler in a recent research note.


October 9, 2012

There are two issues concerning the business of diabetes monitoring that are playing out right now, one a little more immediate. 


There are two issues concerning the business of diabetes monitoring that are playing out right now, one a little more immediate. 


As soon as 2013, when Medicare’s competitive bidding of durable medical equipment — which includes diabetes testing supplies — as it relates to mail order goes into effect, many pharmacies may be precluded from delivering diabetes test supplies to their patients. Currently 45% of community pharmacies deliver diabetes supplies to assisted living facilities, according to the National Community 
Pharmacists Association. 


October 9, 2012

Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Sept. 18 by the National Community Pharmacists Association.


Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Sept. 18 by the National Community Pharmacists Association.


NCPA polled more than 350 community pharmacists about their recent experience with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers and other Medicare Part D plan intermediaries. The survey also asked about generic drug reimbursement caps known as maximum allowable costs, or MACs. 


Among the findings:


October 8, 2012

A pharmacy school in Alabama is getting a grant for a program designed to reduce hospitalizations among nursing home residents.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A pharmacy school in Alabama is getting a grant for a program designed to reduce hospitalizations among nursing home residents.

October 1, 2012

SilverScript Insurance, a CVS Caremark company, announced on Monday that a variety of new Medicare prescription drug plan options are available for 2013.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — SilverScript Insurance, a CVS Caremark company, announced on Monday that a variety of new Medicare prescription drug plan options are available for 2013.

October 1, 2012

More than 20,000 RxAlly member pharmacies — including independent pharmacies, regional chains and Walgreens — will begin accepting a new federally qualified Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, SmartD Rx, beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

CLEVELAND — More than 20,000 RxAlly member pharmacies — including independent pharmacies, regional chains and Walgreens — will begin accepting a new federally qualified Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, SmartD Rx, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Developed by Smart Insurance Company with the input of pharmacists, SmartD Rx will be offered to beneficiaries for the first time this fall during Medicare’s open enrollment period. 

September 26, 2012

Cardinal Health this week announced that it is kicking off an effort to encourage its retail pharmacy customers to educate their patients about new Medicare benefits and options that will be available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act starting in 2013.

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health this week announced that it is kicking off an effort to encourage its retail pharmacy customers to educate their patients about new Medicare benefits and options that will be available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act starting in 2013.

September 25, 2012

When National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson earlier this year at NACDS Annual urged pharmacy leaders to be “disruptive innovators,” and new NACDS chairman and Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson called on the industry to embrace a holistic view of the total store in improving patient lives, they easily could have submitted Walgreens and its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary as an ideal case study.


When National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson earlier this year at NACDS Annual urged pharmacy leaders to be “disruptive innovators,” and new NACDS chairman and Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson called on the industry to embrace a holistic view of the total store in improving patient lives, they easily could have submitted Walgreens and its Take Care Health Systems subsidiary as an ideal case study.


September 25, 2012

There is no doubt about it. Pharmacy audits can be time consuming and laborious for all parties involved. And as both government and commercial money gets tighter and tighter, all of health care is searching for the most effective means to manage the financial challenges associated with doing business. In addition to the clinical aspects, audits are used to identify genuinely fraudulent or erroneously paid healthcare claims. Nevertheless, a survey released in September 2012 by the National Community Pharmacists Association found that nearly 87% of those surveyed stated that reimbursement and auditing practices are “significantly” or “very significantly” affecting their ability to provide patient care and remain in business.

There is no doubt about it. Pharmacy audits can be time consuming and laborious for all parties involved. And as both government and commercial money gets tighter and tighter, all of health care is searching for the most effective means to manage the financial challenges associated with doing business. In addition to the clinical aspects, audits are used to identify genuinely fraudulent or erroneously paid healthcare claims.

September 21, 2012

The pharmaceuticals business will begin picking up in 2014, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO Steve Collis said at the wholesaler's ThinkLive Manufacturer's Summit.

PHILADELPHIA — The pharmaceuticals business will begin picking up in 2014, AmerisourceBergen president and CEO Steve Collis said last week at the wholesaler's ThinkLive Manufacturer's Summit held here. "Next year is a slower brand-to-generic [trend] and in 2014 we’re going to see a resumption in that top-line growth rate [across the pharmaceutical industry in the U.S.] to a modest 4% growth," Collis said. "That’s not too bad," he added, especially when you compare that growth up against what's happening worldwide.

September 18, 2012

Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Abusive auditing and unfair reimbursement practices harm community pharmacists’ ability to provide critically needed patient counseling and care to seniors, according to a new survey released Tuesday by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

NCPA polled more than 350 community pharmacists about their recent experience with audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers and other Medicare Part D plan intermediaries. The survey also asked about generic drug reimbursement caps known as maximum allowable costs (MACs). 

September 18, 2012

There was something that jumped out at me during the one-hour interview with Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson that helped set the tone for the massive, 86-page exclusive report on the company that appears in this issue. It had to do with Wasson’s vision for the role of community pharmacy in the future of 
health care.


There was something that jumped out at me during the one-hour interview with Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson that helped set the tone for the massive, 86-page exclusive report on the company that appears in this issue. It had to do with Wasson’s vision for the role of community pharmacy in the future of 
health care.


September 17, 2012

Will Congress rip away the ability of independent and small chain pharmacies to sell diabetic supplies and durable medical equipment to Medicare patients?

Will Congress rip away the ability of independent and small chain pharmacies to sell diabetic supplies and durable medical equipment to Medicare patients?

That's the essential question being debated by the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology. The congressional panel is mulling a proposal from some lawmakers to exempt smaller pharmacy operators — defined as those with 10 or fewer locations — from the new Medicare competitive bidding program.

September 11, 2012

Louisiana pharmacist Randy Mire testified before Congress Tuesday that efforts to combat the diabetes epidemic in his home state and elsewhere would be significantly undermined if independent community pharmacies like his are forced to stop offering diabetes testing supplies as a result of Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, according to a National Community Pharmacists Association release.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Louisiana pharmacist Randy Mire testified before Congress Tuesday that efforts to combat the diabetes epidemic in his home state and elsewhere would be significantly undermined if independent community pharmacies like his are forced to stop offering diabetes testing supplies as a result of Medicare’s competitive bidding program for durable medical equipment, according to a National Community Pharmacists Association release.

Mire appeared on behalf of NCPA before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Healthcare and Technology.

September 10, 2012

Pharmacists got another opportunity this month to show their skills and help ease the healthcare system's growing financial crisis and resource shortage. Will it move the needle on true health reform and the expanding pharmacy practice model?

Pharmacists got another opportunity this month to show their skills and help ease the healthcare system's growing financial crisis and resource shortage. Will it move the needle on true health reform and the expanding pharmacy practice model?

September 5, 2012

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday announced that it is participating in the "Team Up. Pressure Down." program to help hypertensive patients more effectively manage and control their high blood pressure — and ultimately prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday announced that it is participating in the "Team Up. Pressure Down." program to help hypertensive patients more effectively manage and control their high blood pressure — and ultimately prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.
 

September 4, 2012

Kroger has announced that it is offering $25 flu shots at more than 1,900 Kroger pharmacy locations nationwide and at The Little Clinic locations inside select stores.

CINCINNATI — Kroger has announced that it is offering $25 flu shots at more than 1,900 Kroger pharmacy locations nationwide and at The Little Clinic locations inside select stores.

Flu shots are available for ages 2 years and older and high-dose flu shots are available for patients ages 65 years and older.

Certified pharmacists, The Little Clinic nurse practitioners or physician assistants administer all flu shots. Kroger pharmacies accept most insurance plans including Medicare.

August 30, 2012

Former secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt will lead presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's transition planning should Romney win the fall elections, according to a report published Wednesday by National Journal Daily.

WASHINGTON — Former secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt will lead presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's transition planning should Romney win the fall elections, according to a report published Wednesday by National Journal Daily.

Leavitt helped author the prescription coverage under Medicare Part D during his tenure at HHS.

August 17, 2012

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 15 to highlight new benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries that will help them stay healthier.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla., on Aug. 15 to highlight new benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries that will help them stay healthier.

August 17, 2012

The idea of pharmacists as the most accessible healthcare professionals isn't just some hokey marketing gimmick: It's a readily observable fact, and one that will become increasingly important as retail pharmacies and retail clinics play a greater role on the front lines of care.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The idea of pharmacists as the most accessible healthcare professionals isn't just some hokey marketing gimmick: It's a readily observable fact, and one that will become increasingly important as retail pharmacies and retail clinics play a greater role on the front lines of care.

August 17, 2012

While the ultimate impact of healthcare reform is still being debated, one trend is clear: Accountable care organizations continue to pick up steam. An ACO is a unique healthcare delivery model defined as a network of healthcare providers who share responsibility for coordinating high-quality care across a specific patient population.

While the ultimate impact of healthcare reform is still being debated, one trend is clear: Accountable care organizations continue to pick up steam. An ACO is a unique healthcare delivery model defined as a network of healthcare providers who share responsibility for coordinating high-quality care across a specific patient population. The concept is not new and, in fact, is based largely on integrated health system models that have been successful for many years.

August 15, 2012

The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced partnerships with several pharmacies to help customers learn about new Medicare benefits available to them under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced partnerships with several pharmacies to help customers learn about new Medicare benefits available to them under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

These partnerships — with CVS Caremark, Sam's Club, Thrifty White, Walgreens and Walmart — will provide Medicare beneficiaries with a range of educational materials on newly available preventive services, as well as savings on prescription drug spending in the "doughnut hole" coverage gap.

August 10, 2012

BioScrip on Wednesday posted $155.9 million in second-quarter revenue, up 18.5% compared with the prior year.

ELMSFORD, N.Y. — BioScrip on Wednesday posted $155.9 million in second-quarter revenue, up 18.5% compared with the prior year.

"The second-quarter results demonstrate our progress in executing on our strategic plan," BioScrip president and CEO Rick Smith said. "We were able to close on the divestiture of the noncore pharmacy services assets and redeploy a portion of the proceeds towards the acquisition of InfuScience, while delivering sequential improvement on our adjusted EBITDA."

August 6, 2012

A cool trillion dollars. That’s what the generic industry said U.S. patients and public and private health plan payers have saved over the last decade by switching from branded to generic prescription drugs at pharmacy counters.

A cool trillion dollars. That’s what the generic industry said U.S. patients and public and private health plan payers have saved over the last decade by switching from branded to generic prescription drugs at pharmacy counters.

Looked at another way, the Generic Pharmaceutical Association trumpeted in a study released last Thursday that me-too medicines saved a half-billion dollars a day between 2002 and 2011.

August 6, 2012

Walgreens is looking to make getting a flu shot as easy as walking into any Walgreens, Duane Reade and Take Care Clinic by offering flu shots without an appointment.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens is looking to make getting a flu shot as easy as walking into any Walgreens, Duane Reade and Take Care Clinic by offering flu shots without an appointment.