April 4, 2013

Retail-based health clinics, urgent care clinics, telehealth and traditional physicians may be increasingly competing to serve the healthcare needs of Americans but the real winner is the patient, suggests a recent article in The Economist.

April 1, 2013

Retail-based clinic operator MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark, and Southern California healthcare system Sharp HealthCare have entered into a clinical affiliation to enhance access to healthcare services throughout San Diego County.

March 29, 2013

A representative and a senator, both Republicans, recently introduced legislation that would repeal restrictions on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 that prohibit the use of HSA and FSA account dollars for the purchase of over-the-counter drugs without a prescription.

One of the sponsors of the Family Health Care Flexibility Act, Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, called the restrictions "government overreach and interference." But they're more than that: They're simply wasteful. The whole point of healthcare reform is to expand access to health care while reducing cost, and requiring an expensive and time-consuming doctor visit to get a prescription for an OTC drug fails at both goals.

March 26, 2013

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., introduced legislation repealing restrictions placed on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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 15, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores applauded the introduction of S. 557, the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2013, introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Pat Roberts, R-Kan., along with the support of original cosponsors U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Al Franken, D-Minn., Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

March 15, 2013

U.S. Senators Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., introduced legislation written to lower healthcare costs by helping more seniors better manage their prescriptions.

March 15, 2013

MinuteClinic president and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, Andrew Sussman, attended two separate healthcare events in London last week to discuss how MinuteClinic is improving care and access at substantially lower cost.

This is important because, regardless of whether a country has universal healthcare or not, someone has to pay for it and accessibility can still be an issue. Interestingly, a British supermarket began testing the concept of an in-store physician-staffed clinic back in 2008 in an effort to improve access. 
A key reason: Its supermarkets are often situated in a convenient location with public transport links and ample parking.

March 14, 2013

MinuteClinic president and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, Andrew Sussman, traveled to London this week to discuss how MinuteClinic is improving care and access at substantially lower cost, the company has announced.

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 8, 2013

A bill that would expand the pool of patients who qualify for medication therapy management under Medicare was introduced to the House of Representatives Thursday with broad industry support.

March 8, 2013

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, last week recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012. Walgreens and Kerr Drug were named top large pharmacy chain and top regional pharmacy chain, respectively.

MTM matters, and people are keeping score. And it's something you can expect to see more of in the age of accountable care and star-based quality ratings.

March 5, 2013

OutcomesMTM, a medication therapy management delivery system, on Tuesday recognized its top chain and independent pharmacies for 2012.

March 5, 2013

A number of pharma companies joined Monday on the launch of the CommonWell Health Alliance to better enable seamless access to healthcare data.

March 4, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association submitted written comments urging the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to take action on a wide range of what NCPA characterizes as "anti-patient, anti-pharmacist practices," the association announced.

March 4, 2013

A hospital system on Long Island in New York state has a partnership with CVS' MinuteClinic, according to published reports.

March 1, 2013

Every year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issues a "call letter" to lay out various policies and requirements for the coming program year within the Medicare program.

February 28, 2013

Medicare and Medicaid are working with the private sector to create a roadmap for the future of healthcare delivery, and a congressional hearing was convened Thursday to ensure it does that.

February 27, 2013

MinuteClinic, the retail healthcare division of CVS Caremark and North Shore-LIJ Health System, one of the nation's largest healthcare providers, have signed a clinical collaboration to enhance access to high-quality healthcare services in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

February 26, 2013

CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo presented a $50,000 check Tuesday to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center before attending a luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Pittsburgh.

February 25, 2013

The American Pharmacists Association has released the latest edition of a publication for pharmacists who provide medication therapy management services, the professional group said.

February 22, 2013

The head of a trade organization for retail pharmacies critiqued the conclusions of an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal that cast doubt on some of the potential benefits of accountable care organizations.

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 15, 2013

Eighty-eight members of the House of Representatives fired off a letter Monday to postmaster general and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service Patrick Donahoe urging the agency not to eliminate Saturday delivery of mail, saying it would impede the ability of people who depend on mail-order pharmacies to receive their medications.

It's no secret that the retail pharmacy industry and pharmacy benefit managers don't always see eye-to-eye, with the latter being the main provider of mail-order pharmacy services in the country and often touting them as an alternative to going to the drug store, while the former emphasize the face-to-face interaction with pharmacists not usually possible with mail-order. But between the back-and-forth, millions of patients still depend on mail order pharmacy, and the cost effectiveness that mail-order pharmacies frequently promote themselves as offering could be at risk if they must use more expensive delivery methods.