It’s been several weeks now since Hurricane Sandy, virtually erased neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island and New Jersey. For those of us who live and grew up here, the stories of loss and devastation are all around us.
A few months ago, I found myself commenting on another website focused on healthcare-related news about the future growth potential for retail clinics versus urgent care centers. Actually, I was on the verge of a full-on debate with some other user, saved only by the grace of a site error. It is an ironic example of how technology can make humans more efficient — even if by mistake.
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.
It turns out that the Baby Boomer generation was just the opening act. The Millennials are here, and the world changed overnight, at least for marketers. Brand loyalty is out the window, transparency rules and convenience is king. Millennials are savvy about marketing, and they want what they want when they want it.
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.
As states grapple with tight budgets, rising Medicaid costs and the anticipated expansion of Medicaid following the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, policy-makers should consider how community pharmacists can help reduce expenses.
They say hindsight is 20/20. With the Supreme Court’s ruling on healthcare reform, the luxury of looking back shows that the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and allies took the right course to battle the pharmacy Medicaid cuts of the Deficit Reduction Act. What we learned should inspire pharmacy to remain tenacious in its continued advocacy on this issue and in confronting all other challenges.