Content about Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson

December 20, 2013

CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has lifted the sanctions imposed against the company's SilverScript Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, effective Jan. 1.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has lifted the sanctions imposed against the company's SilverScript Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, effective Jan. 1.

 "We are pleased by this news," stated Jon Roberts, president of the PBM business of CVS Caremark. "We have worked hard to implement improvements to address the enrollment processing issues that occurred in early 2013 and are committed to providing our members with quality service and support."

December 17, 2013

Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

December 11, 2013

Reimbursement cuts to California's state Medicaid program are the subject of a lawsuit filed last week in San Francisco.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Reimbursement cuts to California's state Medicaid program are the subject of a lawsuit filed last week in San Francisco.

The Professional Pharmacy Alliance and the California Korean American Pharmacists Association filed suit against the California Department of Health Care Services in San Francisco Superior Court over an across-the-board 10% cut in 2011 to the reimbursement rates for most providers under the program, known as Medi-Cal.

December 4, 2013

Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Mail-order pharmacies frequently charge Medicare prescription drug plans more — as much as 83% — than community pharmacies do for filling prescriptions, a new analysis by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has concluded.

CMS examined claims from March 2012 and found 21 drug plans that routinely paid more for prescriptions filled through the mail compared to a community pharmacy.

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

November 15, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

Why is this so important? Well, he’s a physician having previously practiced with Brigham Internal Medicine Associates. He also served as assistant professor at Harvard Medical School and served as director, research and rapid-cycle evaluation for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. And what’s especially interesting to note — as highlighted by CVS Caremark — is that Shrank is “experienced in pharmaceutical outcomes research.”

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics. In this role, Shrank will oversee the company’s overall research and clinical program development.

November 12, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

In this role, Shrank will focus on the development of innovative pharmacy solutions to help improve the quality of care while lowering costs in order to help health care providers deliver services to distinct patient populations.

October 30, 2013

Community pharmacy is an important healthcare partner in providing cost-saving solutions within the healthcare system.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Community pharmacy is an important healthcare partner in providing cost-saving solutions within the healthcare system by helping to improve medication adherence, administering vaccinations and increasing the use of generic drugs. That was a key message of a statement sent by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores to Budget Committee conferees of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

October 24, 2013

With the expansion of Medicaid services in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the horizon, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association sent a letter to CMS urging the agency to take into consideration the true cost of dispensing prescription medications to Medicaid patients.

ARLINGTON, Va. — With the expansion of Medicaid services in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the horizon, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and National Community Pharmacists Association sent a letter to CMS urging the agency to take into consideration the true cost of dispensing prescription medications to Medicaid patients. 

October 15, 2013

CVS/pharmacy is offering its senior patients a new way to compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans during the annual enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, the pharmacy retailer has announced.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS/pharmacy is offering its senior patients a new way to compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans during the annual enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, the pharmacy retailer has announced.
 

October 15, 2013

An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

SAN ANTONIO — An increase of 1% in prescribed drug use decreases Medicare spending on other medical services by 5%, according to statements made Tuesday at a specialty pharmacy conference by a former chief of staff for the Obama administration.

October 14, 2013

More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — More than three-quarters of Medicare beneficiaries don't compare drug prices when shopping for their health plans, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by eHealth, found that 78% of respondents don't compare prices, but that the average beneficiary could have saved more than $600 this year on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs if he had. The study was based on an analysis of more than 450,000 unique visitor sessions during Medicare's 2013 Annual Enrollment Period.

October 14, 2013

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday. 

October 7, 2013

Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK — Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

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.

September 20, 2013

Only half of the uninsured Americans expected to gain health coverage next year will do so due to a Supreme Court decision that allows states to decide individually whether to expand Medicaid coverage to the poor under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to published reports.

NEW YORK – Only half of the uninsured Americans expected to gain health coverage next year will do so due to a Supreme Court decision that allows states to decide individually whether to expand Medicaid coverage to the poor under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to published reports.

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 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 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

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 navigator grant applicants in federally facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 navigator grant applicants in federally facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces.

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

Is your organization prepared to navigate the new healthcare landscape? That was the question posed by health policy experts in a NACDS TSE Insight Session Sunday.

Is your organization prepared to navigate the new healthcare landscape? That was the question posed by health policy experts in a NACDS TSE Insight Session Sunday.

Although employers have been granted a deadline extension on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide health coverage options for their employees, most provisions of the ACA are scheduled to go into effect next year. With those provisions will come an expansion of Medicaid as tens of millions of Americans become eligible for health coverage through health insurance exchanges.