Content about United States National Health Care Act

August 5, 2011

Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums will cost beneficiaries roughly $30 in 2012, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums will cost beneficiaries roughly $30 in 2012, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group representing pharmacy benefit managers, heralded the figure, saying it confirmed the success of Medicare Part D plans in delivering savings.

August 4, 2011

The Alliance for Patient Care, a coalition of healthcare providers, health plans, patient advocates and others working together to protect access to care in California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) program, headed to Washington, D.C., to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and members of Congress to reject California’s proposed cut to the state’s Medi-Cal program, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

WASHINGTON — The Alliance for Patient Care, a coalition of healthcare providers, health plans, patient advocates and others working together to protect access to care in California’s Medi-Cal (Medicaid) program, headed to Washington, D.C., to urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and members of Congress to reject California’s proposed cut to the state’s Medi-Cal program, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

August 1, 2011

New guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

WASHINGTON — New guidelines that will ensure women receive preventive health services at no additional cost were announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Developed by the independent Institute of Medicine, the new guidelines require new health insurance plans to cover women’s preventive services, such as well-woman visits, breast-feeding support, domestic violence screening and contraception without charging a co-payment, co-insurance or a deductible.

July 14, 2011

Amid debt ceiling talks, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to President Barack Obama and to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leadership outlining key areas to help ensure continued patient access to pharmacy services through such federally funded programs as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, the association announced on Wednesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Amid debt ceiling talks, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a letter to President Barack Obama and to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate leadership outlining key areas to help ensure continued patient access to pharmacy services through such federally funded programs as Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE, the association announced on Wednesday. 

July 11, 2011

H. D. Smith on Monday announced its support for H.R. 1041, otherwise known as the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — H. D. Smith on Monday announced its support for H.R. 1041, otherwise known as the Fairness in Medicare Bidding Act.

Introduced in March by Reps. Jason Altmire, D-Pa., and Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., the bill seeks to repeal the Medicare Durable Medical Equipment Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies competitive bidding program included in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). 

June 13, 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a bête noire among much of the Republican party since President Obama signed it into law. But as GOP presidential candidates prepared for the first official debate in Manchester, N.H., one group launched a series of ads defending it and other programs to address the nation’s health coverage gap.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been a bête noire among much of the Republican party since President Obama signed it into law. But as GOP presidential candidates prepared for the first official debate in Manchester, N.H., one group launched a series of ads defending it and other programs to address the nation’s health coverage gap.

May 13, 2011

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association and other trade and patient advocacy groups can push generic drug usage as a way to save on medical costs, but throwing the weight of Congress behind generics gives them a bigger boost than ever.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The Generic Pharmaceutical Association and other trade and patient advocacy groups can push generic drug usage as a way to save on medical costs, but throwing the weight of Congress behind generics gives them a bigger boost than ever.

(THE NEWS: GPhA expresses support of Congressional Affordable Medicines Caucus. For the full story, click here)

May 12, 2011

A new congressional caucus will look for ways to educate the public and members of Congress on how to reduce the country’s healthcare costs with affordable medicines.

WASHINGTON — A new congressional caucus will look for ways to educate the public and members of Congress on how to reduce the country’s healthcare costs with affordable medicines.

Reps. Jo Ann Emerson, R-Mo., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., will serve as chairwoman and chairman for the Congressional Affordable Medicines Caucus, whose formation was announced Thursday.

April 28, 2011

CVS Caremark is expected to complete its acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American on April 29, the company has announced.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark is expected to complete its acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American on April 29, the company has announced.

As previously reported, CVS Caremark will pay Universal American shareholders cash consideration of $1.25 billion plus the excess capital in the entities that operate Universal American's Medicare Part D business, less Universal American's outstanding trust preferred securities, which are being assumed by CVS Caremark.

April 13, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it has signed on as a partner for a new public-private partnership, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs through the use of community-based care transition programs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores said that it has signed on as a partner for a new public-private partnership, announced by the Department of Health and Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, that seeks to improve patient health and lower healthcare costs through the use of community-based care transition programs.

NACDS lauded the initiative's recognition of pharmacy's role in helping patients take their medications as prescribed.

April 13, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday announced support for the Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 2011 (H.R. 1409), which was introduced last week by House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in an effort to improve the quality of patient care by leveling the playing field between healthcare professionals and insurance companies in the healthcare industry.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday announced support for the Quality Health Care Coalition Act of 2011 (H.R. 1409), which was introduced last week by House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, in an effort to improve the quality of patient care by leveling the playing field between healthcare professionals and insurance companies in the healthcare industry.

April 6, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week it would delay implementation of its proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short-cycle” rule for one year.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week it would delay implementation of its proposed Medicare Part D long-term care “short-cycle” rule for one year.

March 29, 2011

Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Raising Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67 years in 2014 would generate an estimated $7.6 billion in net savings to the federal government, but also would result in an estimated net increase of $5.6 billion in out-of-pocket costs for 65- and 66-year-olds, as well as $4.5 billion in employer retiree healthcare costs, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation projection of the potential change suggested by several deficit-reduction plans.

March 14, 2011

Ten members of Congress expressed concerns over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that is said to reduce Medicare program costs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ten members of Congress expressed concerns over a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that is said to reduce Medicare program costs, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

February 23, 2011

A group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state's Medicaid program.

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers is responding to a proposal made by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that seeks to modernize the state's Medicaid program.

Christie said the proposed overhaul, which includes managing prescription drug benefits similarly to those in Medicare and private-sector programs, would save the state $41 million, “while still providing vital services,” the governor said.

February 18, 2011

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force on Thursday charged 111 defendants in nine cities — including doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners and executives — for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving more than $225 million in false billing. The operation marks the largest federal healthcare-fraud takedown.

WASHINGTON — The Medicare Fraud Strike Force on Thursday charged 111 defendants in nine cities — including doctors, nurses and healthcare company owners and executives — for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving more than $225 million in false billing. The operation marks the largest federal healthcare-fraud takedown.

February 16, 2011

The New York State Health Department has proposed a plan that could save the state’s Medicaid program $350 million through 2015.

WASHINGTON — The New York State Health Department has proposed a plan that could save the state’s Medicaid program $350 million through 2015.

The proposal would redesign the program so that it acts more like Medicare and private insurers. According to the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group for pharmacy benefit managers, the program currently uses fewer generic drugs and pays pharmacists twice what they get from private insurers and Medicare.

February 3, 2011

The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging state governments to save money with generic drugs.

In a document released Thursday, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius urged all 50 state governors to increase the use of generic drugs in their state Medicaid programs.

January 7, 2011

The news that CVS Caremark has entered an agreement to acquire the Medicare Part D business of Universal American is important on several fronts: Not only will the deal more than double the size of CVS Caremark's Medicare Part D program, but the move also comes just as the first baby boomers turn 65.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The news that CVS Caremark has entered an agreement to acquire the Medicare Part D business of Universal American is important on several fronts: Not only will the deal more than double the size of CVS Caremark's Medicare Part D program, but the move also comes just as the first baby boomers turn 65.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark acquires Universal American. For the full story, click here)

January 7, 2011

Almost $8,000 a year in healthcare savings, per patient. That’s how much patients with congestive heart failure could save the U.S. healthcare system simply by taking their medications as prescribed, an exhaustive, three-year study by CVS Caremark concluded.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Almost $8,000 a year in healthcare savings, per patient. That’s how much patients with congestive heart failure could save the U.S. healthcare system simply by taking their medications as prescribed, an exhaustive, three-year study by CVS Caremark concluded.

(THE NEWS: Adherence among chronic disease patients can lead to big savings. For the full story, click here)

January 3, 2011

CVS Caremark is more than doubling the size of its Medicare Part D program by acquiring the Medicare Part D business of Universal American for roughly $1.25 billion.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark is more than doubling the size of its Medicare Part D program by acquiring the Medicare Part D business of Universal American for roughly $1.25 billion.

Universal American’s Part D business currently serves about 1.9 million Medicare PDP members, while CVS Caremark serves roughly 1.2 million Medicare PDP members. This reflects current levels of membership and does not include 2011 auto assignment or the results of the annual enrollment period, which ended Dec. 31, 2010.

January 3, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service has released its guidance on the healthcare-reform law’s tax on drug makers, according to documents posted on the agency’s website.

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has released its guidance on the healthcare-reform law’s tax on drug makers, according to documents posted on the agency’s website.

The tax applies to branded drug companies with total sales of at least $5 million to government health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and programs administered by the defense and veterans affairs departments.

December 15, 2010

New York’s state Medicaid program could save $2.2 billion over 10 years by managing Medicaid pharmacy benefits more like private-sector employer plans, state employee plans and Medicare, according to a new study by healthcare policy research firm The Lewin Group.

WASHINGTON — New York’s state Medicaid program could save $2.2 billion over 10 years by managing Medicaid pharmacy benefits more like private-sector employer plans, state employee plans and Medicare, according to a new study by healthcare policy research firm The Lewin Group.

December 13, 2010

More retailers have joined UnitedHealthcare's prescription savings program that caters to Medicare Part D members.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — More retailers have signed on for UnitedHealthcare's prescription savings program that caters to Medicare Part D members.

Target, H-E-B, Hy-Vee, Publix Super Markets, Food Lion, Bloom, Harveys and Sweetbay Supermarket have joined the insurance company's Pharmacy Saver program, which allows members to purchase some scripts for $2 for 30-day and some 90-day supplies, and applies to hundreds of prescription drugs, including 8-of-the-10 most commonly used by UnitedHealthcare Medicare plan members.

December 7, 2010

WASHINGTON — Proclaiming the potential cost-saving benefits of its signature legislative accomplishment, the massive health-reform bill enacted earlier this year, the White House is projecting that the Affordable Care Act will reduce average costs per patient enrolled in Medicare by thousands of dollars over the next decade.