Content about Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

January 29, 2014

As the massive changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act reach a crescendo in early 2014, who are Americans turning to for help navigating the complexities of a health system in transformation?

As the massive changes wrought by the Affordable Care Act reach a crescendo in early 2014, who are Americans turning to for help navigating the complexities of a health system in transformation? In many cases, it’s to the nation’s most accessible health-and-wellness providers: community pharmacists.

According to an online survey of 348 pharmacists, conducted by Drug Store News, almost two-thirds say they have been receiving questions about health reform since Jan. 1.

January 10, 2014

One of the principles of association leadership says that an association should reflect the membership. Hopefully, NACDS’ approach to member service has resembled the can-do spirit of community pharmacy during the launch of exchange-based insurance.

One of the principles of association leadership says that an association should reflect the membership. Hopefully, NACDS’ approach to member service has resembled the can-do spirit of community pharmacy during the launch of exchange-based insurance. 
 

June 25, 2013

The healthcare industry continues to prepare for ACA implementation and the expected influx of newly eligible patients, said Emdeon's Kevin Mahoney. Many pharmacies are changing their staffing models in preparation for customers with expanded Medicaid benefits — especially as we approach the New Year. This is a good time for me to remind you to be thinking about your eligibility program.

In January, I offered Drug Store News readers a look at the pharmacy and technology trends facing our industry for the year. Here we are in June (can you believe it?), so I thought we should have a progress check and update for the back half of 2013.

February 19, 2013

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements. Providing clinical services through the coordination of care among a variety of providers in the healthcare space will continue to be a focal point in the future of healthcare as well. For example, we will likely see more elaborate collaborative care models through the expansion of accountable care organizations, patient centered medical home efforts, and the development of health insurance exchanges in one form or another.

By now we are all well aware of the healthcare IT transformation taking place across the nation. This transformation is expected to continue for the foreseeable future with further implementation of Meaningful Use and the expansion of state Medicaid programs in 2014 as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements. Providing clinical services through the coordination of care among a variety of providers in the healthcare space will continue to be a focal point in the future of healthcare as well.

February 5, 2013

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have applied this sports theory to its rankings system of Medicare Advantage (MA) and Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) plans. And there’s billions of dollars up-for-grabs for healthcare plans.

Money is a powerful motivator. Look no further than the sports world for validation. The PGA’s FedEx Cup encourages golfers to earn “points” towards participation in playoffs that offer a big season-ending payoff. Tennis has a similar format with the U.S. Open Series where performance in a series of events equates to a huge prize purse. Both instances use hefty prize money to help ensure the top performers participate and at high levels.

April 16, 2014

Are your patients coming to you with questions about health exchanges? Do you know how to help them navigate these organizations? To help retail-based health clinics better assist patients, this year’s Retail Clinician Education Congress in May will feature a Business Leadership track session titled “Healthcare Reform: Healthcare Exchanges and You.”

MINNEAPOLIS — Are your patients coming to you with questions about health exchanges? Do you know how to help them navigate these organizations? To help retail-based health clinics better assist patients, this year’s Retail Clinician Education Congress in May will feature a Business Leadership track session titled “Healthcare Reform: Healthcare Exchanges and You.”

April 11, 2014

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned her post, according to published reports.

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has resigned her post, according to published reports. 

President Obama accepted the resignation this week and intends to announce that he will nominate Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace Sebelius. A formal announcement is expected Friday, according to reports. 

April 2, 2014

Symphony Health Solutions on Wednesday released research on the affects of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid drug spending.

HORSHAM, Pa. — Symphony Health Solutions on Wednesday released research on the affects of the Affordable Care Act on Medicaid drug spending.

The research found that prescription claims for Medicaid patients increased in January by 10% and in February by 14% over the same periods last year. The study also uncovered that average out-of-pocket cost for contraceptives has dropped more than 58% since 2012.

March 20, 2014

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week.

PRINCETON, N.J. — Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week. While health insurance status was a major determinant of this satisfaction, even one-third of those who didn't have health insurance still reported they were satisfied.

March 18, 2014

Even as millions of Americans gain access to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, there are an estimated 62 million people who remain without access to a primary heath care physician, according to a report by the National Association of Community Health Centers.

BETHESDA, Md. — Even as millions of Americans gain access to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, there are an estimated 62 million people who remain without access to a primary heath care physician, according to a report by the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Why? A shortage of such physicians.
 

February 10, 2014

Walgreens on Monday announced it is extending through April 15 its program to provide medications to newly insured Americans enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, who have difficulty using their new insurance coverage because they haven't received a plan identification number yet from their insurer.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Monday announced it is extending through April 15 its program to provide medications to newly insured Americans enrolled under the Affordable Care Act, who have difficulty using their new insurance coverage because they haven't received a plan identification number yet from their insurer. Walgreens will continue to assist recently enrolled individuals by providing up to one month of a traditional, brand or generic medication at no upfront cost upon verification of eligibility.

February 7, 2014

In a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the GAO found that the total draft federal upper limits amount based on the new formula under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was about 1.4% lower than the total National Average Drug Acquisition Cost amount in aggregate for 1,035 outpatient drugs subject to the FUL in first quarter 2013.

WASHINGTON — In a report publicly released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the GAO found that the total draft federal upper limits amount based on the new formula under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was about 1.4% lower than the total National Average Drug Acquisition Cost amount in aggregate for 1,035 outpatient drugs subject to the FUL in first quarter 2013.

January 29, 2014

A call to make 2014 a year of action and for the government to work on behalf of Americans was the underlying theme of President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

WASHINGTON — A call to make 2014 a year of action and for the government to work on behalf of Americans was the underlying theme of President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

During his remarks, Obama touched upon a string of topics ranging from immigration reform, to education, to job creation. He also called for the raising of minimum wage and urged businesses to do what they can to raise employees’ wages, citing Costco as an example.

January 27, 2014

As many as 3 million people have enrolled in private health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment has been up by more than one-third in recent weeks.

WASHINGTON — As many as 3 million people have enrolled in private health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment has been up by more than one-third in recent weeks. 

January 24, 2014

Walmart health-and-wellness president John Agwunobi shared wide-ranging thoughts regarding the state of health care in America and ways in which the evolving marketplace is impacting Walmart customers.

ROGERS, Ark. — Walmart health-and-wellness president John Agwunobi shared wide-ranging thoughts regarding the state of health care in America and ways in which the evolving marketplace is impacting Walmart customers.
 

January 23, 2014

When selecting an exchange health plan under the Affordable Care Act, consumers should be able to evaluate plans’ success in medication management, among other quality measures, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores stated in comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ARLINGTON, Va. — When selecting an exchange health plan under the Affordable Care Act, consumers should be able to evaluate plans’ success in medication management, among other quality measures, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores stated in comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Specifically, NACDS urged CMS to adopt measures related to medication adherence and appropriate medication use as part of its Quality Rating System for Qualified Health Plans, which are offered through health insurance exchanges.

January 7, 2014

Growth in health spending has slowed in recent years, including spending by private and public payers, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that also found a small contribution to the lower growth from the healthcare reform law.

WASHINGTON — Growth in health spending has slowed in recent years, including spending by private and public payers, according to data released Monday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that also found a small contribution to the lower growth from the healthcare reform law.

January 3, 2014

Regional chain Kinney Drugs is the latest to offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to some customers who have enrolled in Obamacare, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Regional chain Kinney Drugs is the latest to offer prescriptions at no upfront cost to some customers who have enrolled in Obamacare, according to published reports.

The Syracuse, N.Y., Post-Standard reported Friday that the Gouverneur, N.Y.-based chain would offer 30-day prescriptions to customers who have enrolled, but have not received an identification number. The offer is good through the month of January. Kinney operates 99 stores in central and northern New York and adjacent areas of Vermont.

January 3, 2014

Adults who are covered by Medicaid use emergency rooms 40% more than those in similar circumstances who do not have health insurance, according to a new study, co-authored by an MIT economist, that sheds empirical light on the inner workings of health care in the United States.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Adults who are covered by Medicaid use emergency rooms 40% more than those in similar circumstances who do not have health insurance, according to a new study co-authored by an MIT economist that sheds empirical light on the inner workings of health care in the United States.

The study takes advantage of Oregon's recent use of a lottery to assign access to Medicaid, the government-backed healthcare plan for low-income Americans, to certain uninsured adults. The research examines emergency room records for roughly 25,000 people for a period of 18 months.

January 2, 2014

Walmart is offering prescriptions at no upfront cost to patients who enroll in the public health insurance marketplace, the mass-merchandise retailer said.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart is offering prescriptions at no upfront cost to patients who enroll in the public health insurance marketplace, the mass-merchandise retailer said.

December 26, 2013

Earlier this year, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the research wing of the healthcare industry analysis firm IMS Health, dropped a bombshell when it showed that U.S. spending on drugs fell in 2012, the first time that had happened in 55 years.

Earlier this year, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, the research wing of the healthcare industry analysis firm IMS Health, dropped a bombshell when it showed that U.S. spending on drugs fell in 2012, the first time that had happened in 55 years. But according to IMS’ latest figures, it was not the start of a trend.

December 23, 2013

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is encouraging health plans to cover patients' existing non-formulary drugs as though they were formulary drugs for the first 30 days after the Jan. 1 rollout of the insurance coverage provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is encouraging health plans to cover patients' existing non-formulary drugs as though they were formulary drugs for the first 30 days after the Jan. 1 rollout of the insurance coverage provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

December 19, 2013

GoHealth and Walgreens are ramping up their shared efforts to let Americans know GoHealthInsurance.com is a viable solution for people seeking coverage and exploring marketplace options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the companies announced.

CHICAGO — GoHealth and Walgreens are ramping up their shared efforts to let Americans know GoHealthInsurance.com is a viable solution for people seeking coverage and exploring marketplace options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the companies announced Wednesday. 

December 18, 2013

The U.S. healthcare system saved $217 billion in 2012 thanks to the use of generic drugs, according to a new report by a generic drug industry trade group.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. healthcare system saved $217 billion in 2012 thanks to the use of generic drugs, according to a new report by a generic drug industry trade group.

December 13, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores underscored its commitment to improving the quality and affordability of the nation’s healthcare system and expressed concern about potential consequences of restricted pharmacy networks with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange plans.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores underscored its commitment to improving the quality and affordability of the nation’s healthcare system and expressed concern about potential consequences of restricted pharmacy networks with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchange plans in a statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. 

The committee held a hearing Friday titled, “Premiums, Provider Networks and the Health Care Law.”