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.

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.

August 28, 2012

CVS Caremark and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have teamed up to increase awareness of the new services available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. To announce the partnership and highlight new benefits and options for Medicare beneficiaries, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently visited a CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

July 14, 2014

At the close of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, an estimated 9.5 million fewer U.S. adults were uninsured, according to a new Commonwealth Fund survey released last week.

July 7, 2014

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology this fall will launch a consumer outreach campaign Sept. 15 through Oct. 6 to raise awareness around the national Blue Button Initiative, a public-private partnership that seeks to give consumers easy and secure access to their health records from a variety of sources in a format they can use. 

June 3, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced new timing to implement the Medicaid average manufacturer price-based federal upper limits for prescription medications, a move that has been applauded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. The FULs were expected to be finalized in July.

May 21, 2014

According to a report published Monday by JAMA Pediatrics, cost-related barriers to care among children with asthma are concentrated among low-income families with higher cost-sharing levels.

May 21, 2014

Citing the need for a one-year transition period for states to implement the July average manufacturer price-based federal upper limits, or FULs, nine Senators are urging Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to consider the challenges that states will face when the final Medicaid AMP-based FULs are published.

May 20, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Monday issued final regulations for the Medicare Advantage and prescription drug benefit (Part D) programs.

April 24, 2014

More than two-thirds of the U.S. population now live in localities served by accountable care organizations, and more than 40% live in areas served by two or more.

April 22, 2014

This week, 49 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to adopt a one-year transition period for states to implement the July 2014 average manufacturer price-based federal upper limits.

April 9, 2014

Emphasizing implementation challenges that could impact patient access to pharmacy services, a coalition is urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow a one-year transition period for states to fully implement the Medicaid average manufacturer’s price-based federal upper limits for prescription medications.

April 4, 2014

Hospital patients who participated in Walgreens' WellTransitions program were 46% less likely to experience an unplanned hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge, according to new company research released Friday.

April 2, 2014

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

March 28, 2014

More smokers would quit if state Medicaid programs covered more cessation treatments and removed barriers to coverage, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study published in Thursday's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

March 26, 2014

Message to federal health plan payers from community pharmacy: We have the systems in place and the professional expertise to help millions of patients to better their health outcomes at a lower cost. Message to pharmacy from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and its Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Prove it.

March 12, 2014

Citing pharmacist-administered medication therapy management, recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers, the need for fair and accurate pharmacy reimbursement in state Medicaid programs and other pharmacy services, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores has sent a statement to lawmakers urging them to consider pharmacy provisions within the “Fiscal 2015 Budget,” released by the administration last week.

March 11, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

March 11, 2014

Bipartisan legislation that would designate pharmacists as healthcare providers under the Medicare program was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill would amend The Social Security Act of 1935 to enable pharmacists to work to their full capability by providing underserved patients in the Medicare program with services not currently available to them.

February 18, 2014

Now that most generics have declined in cost, plans will look for new ways to control health spend and ensure that generics are being used whenever possible.

February 18, 2014

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors.

February 12, 2014

A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday.

February 12, 2014

Members of Congress are contacting the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of pro-patient improvements the agency proposed for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in 2015, a development applauded today by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

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.