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 12, 2013

A leading category manager who purchases a $4 billion category of business shared with me during a recent interview that he believes less than 5% of the companies calling on him “truly create meaningful value” and actually “get it.” He went on to share that, “they don’t understand or appreciate my definition of value.”

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 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.

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.

January 18, 2013

This will be a big year for implementation of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, and the National Community Pharmacists Association will track the process closely on behalf of NCPA members and the patients they serve. NCPA recently submitted comments about the ACA’s Multi-State Plans, or MSPs, being designed by the Office of Personnel Management.

January 10, 2013

If you are like a lot of people, hanging a new calendar has inspired you to embrace new beginnings and experimentation. Every January morning begins with plans to put insights into action.

December 19, 2012

The vast majority of product launches, reorganizations, mergers and improvement initiatives either fail or grossly disappoint. In all, roughly 90% of major projects violate their own schedule, budget or quality standards.

December 11, 2012

E-prescribing offers many well-known benefits to physicians, pharmacists and patients alike. Beyond the well-known patient benefits, real-time transactions with automated requests and responses promise to create efficiencies by speeding the medication ordering process, reducing or eliminating the back-and-forth communications between pharmacists and clinicians commonly associated with handwritten prescriptions.

November 29, 2012

The economy continues to be the single largest influencer in the growth of the health, beauty and wellness industry. The annual inflation rate has averaged just more than 2% during the past five years.

November 21, 2012

Each year, we say goodbye to the current year and welcome in the New Year full of hope and aspirations for a successful year ahead. Customers turn out in droves for “New Year, New You” specials and when they reach the register, the retail pharmacy world knows the scenario quite well.

November 5, 2012

Products often fail before they ever find their way to market. Because our firm reviews more than 2,500 new health, beauty and wellness products, and sees approximately 13,000 packaging changes and line extensions annually, I’ve seen this firsthand.

October 16, 2012

Emerging multidisciplinary healthcare models, such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, promise to elevate quality and lower costs by harnessing the power of provider, payer and patient collaboration. Often overlooked in the coordinated care equation, however, is the integral role pharmacists can play in delivering efficient and effective care.

October 9, 2012

With healthcare reform on track to bring 32 million more Americans into the healthcare system in 2014, and with payers and patients looking for solutions to curb costs as the nation battles a shortage of primary care physicians and access to quality care, CVS Caremark’s role in reinventing pharmacy through its distinctive business model couldn’t be more imperative than it is today.

October 2, 2012

I was fortunate. I was born into a wonderful family. Each of my four siblings and I have certainly chosen individual paths, but it is amazing how interconnected we remain and how we can still rely on each other when necessary.

September 25, 2012

There is no doubt about it. Pharmacy audits can be time consuming and laborious for all parties involved. And as both government and commercial money gets tighter and tighter, all of health care is searching for the most effective means to manage the financial challenges associated with doing business.