July 23, 2013

Emdeon's Gene Boerger said pharmacies are busily expanding into providing medical services, including providing basic healthcare screenings and immunization services. As a result, they are becoming healthcare providers, over and above their traditional roles. But just how well they are able to integrate within the healthcare continuum over the long term depends upon the strength of the bonds they are able to build with payers and medical providers … and those relationships are rooted in data connectivity.

June 25, 2013

People who deal in real estate like to say that the three most important things to consider when buying or selling a house are “location, location and location.” But when it comes to the way physicians, nurses and pharmacists provide health services to their patients, location ain’t what it used to be.

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.

June 7, 2013

When did providing customer service become an inconvenience for some retail staff?" asks Hamacher Group's Dave Wendland. "Too often I have witnessed reluctance on the part of shoppers to seek help — and if they do, it almost always begins with, 'Sorry for interrupting, but …' Think about that. 'Sorry for interrupting' what?

May 30, 2013

Beauty trends are as much a reflection of the consumer's state of mind as they are a reflection of the technological innovations put forth by research-and-development teams at laboratories around the world. While consumers are not able to verbalize their expectations for the ideal product that will fulfill their needs, they are able to pinpoint gaps with their unmet needs through their purchasing patterns.

May 29, 2013

Over-the-counter health-and-wellness items play a key role in bridging a supermarket retail pharmacy to the rest of the food store. And with extensive outcomesbased medicines on the horizon, more health-seeking consumers will look to make that link between pharmacy and nutrition.

May 28, 2013

Risk is everywhere in our lives. The trick, as Mr. Buffett says, is to manage it through knowledge. Your exposure to risk in the pharmacy businesses may come about from various sources.

May 2, 2013

Courtesy of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, DSN presents excerpts from the report, “The U.S. Health Care Market: A Strategic View for Consumer Segmentation.”

April 16, 2013

Does the Obama administration “get it” when it comes to pharmacy’s vital interests and lowering health care costs?

One sometimes wonders. As much as I like the president and many of his ideas and instincts, I’m sometimes stumped by some of the lesser-understood facets of the administration’s health policy, and by the seemingly contradictory sets of priorities promoted by that policy.

April 16, 2013

In today’s world, April is the time to begin preparations for the wave of patients who will start visiting pharmacies as early as August to be immunized. On the heels of a severe flu season, past trends suggest the demand for flu shots this year will be tremendous, says Emdeon's Mike Carmody.

April 9, 2013

The new world of targeted, specialized medicines — many of them bioengineered and many of them aimed at smaller and smaller segments of the population — isn’t just on its way. It’s here. And it’s going to radically change the practice of pharmacy.

Here’s an eye-opener: Specialty drugs will likely account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, up from 28.7% of total prescription drug costs in 2012.

April 2, 2013

These are the days of the empowered patient — the patient who asks questions, who wants to know about how to prevent the diseases that ailed their parents or how to live more successfully with the conditions they have, who seeks and finds health information from doctors, nurses, magazines and most especially from the teeming trove of online health sites.

March 26, 2013

It’s often the case that those in the midst of revolutionary times don’t really see how fundamentally the world around them is changing until long after the changes have occurred. So let’s start by declaring that the revolution has begun: Genomic research will dramatically transform both the practice of pharmacy and the way patients are treated with medications for many diseases.

The sequencing of the human genome was a huge scientific breakthrough, and it’s spawning additional breakthroughs as genetic testing labs spring up and the cost of testing individual patients for their ability to metabolize a particular drug drops to affordable levels for health plan payers.

March 22, 2013

In my last UpMarketing post, Dart and Science, I described how combining quantitative and qualitative research with good old-fashioned gut instincts can drive results. This post examines a related topic: big data. Everyone’s talking about the mountains of data at their fingertips, just waiting for analysis and action. But it seems that no one has figured out an effective way to begin excavating to find the hidden treasure.

March 20, 2013

One major theme resonating across the show floor at HIMSS13 was the importance of interoperability within healthcare ecosystems. Emdeon's Lathe Bigler discusses how interoperability in the pharmacy space has been centered on advances in e-prescribing and clinical messaging.

March 19, 2013

Last week, I wrote about Medication Therapy Management and a new bill in the House of Representatives to expand the pool of patients who qualify for MTM programs through Medicare. This week, I’m writing about – wait for it – medication therapy management.

Why? Because MTM is important, vitally important, to the future of community pharmacy, and one of the key health and prevention services that will define the profession in the era of health reform and evidence-based health care.

March 13, 2013

Pernix Therapeutics was recently honored with a "Best Product" designation by retail buyers attending ECRM's Cough/Cold, Analgesics & Allergy EPPS here for its line of Dr. Cocoa pediatric dry cough-cold products.

March 12, 2013

A 12-to-1 return on investment. That’s what researchers in Minnesota estimated public and private health plan payers can get when they pay pharmacists to provide medication therapy management.

March 5, 2013

You might want to make a note of this. On paper. Despite all the hoopla surrounding electronically generated prescriptions, e-communications and digitized patient recordkeeping over the past decade, most doctors still prefer to write prescriptions the old fashioned way, by hand, scrawled on a prescription pad and handed to the patient.

That was the finding of a recent study of physicians’ prescribing habits by point-of-prescription advertising company MediScripts. The company, which by its own description “puts brand messages at the center of the prescriber-patient engagement,” found that handwritten scripts still outpace e-prescribing by more than 60%. Drug Store News’ Alaric DeArment described the findings in a report on Feb. 28.

March 4, 2013

In November 2012, The Drug Store News Group hosted in New York an exclusive roundtable discussion of leading pharmacy retailers and a handful of key vendors. Moderated by special guest Dave Wendland of Hamacher Resource Group, the panel tackled a wide range of issues, including how to expand pharmacist accessibility for patients with diabetes; measuring and managing patient outcomes; government reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and the use of complementary and alternative medicines.

February 25, 2013

“The only real valuable thing is intuition,” said Albert Einstein. Within the consumer healthcare industry, nowhere is that more true than in the realm of brand management.

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.

January 28, 2013

Health care is evolving. As obvious of a statement as that is, it doesn’t change the fact that it is very real. Throughout last year, there was intense discussion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and what impact the outcome of the presidential election might have on its future. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled and elections are settled, healthcare companies and providers across the country are implementing strategies to meet ACA requirements.