January 9, 2014

A confluence of healthcare trends has expanded a lucrative, if challenging, opportunity for pharmacies able to invest in its potential.

December 27, 2013

As the company completes its 50th year in business and the country awaits a period of change in health care unlike anything seen in at least that time, CVS Caremark executives are quite confident that its unique hybrid structure and its ability to leverage the three core parts of its business — either individually or together, in varying combinations to serve a multitude of needs — aligns more effectively with the long-term trends in health care and puts the company in a unique position at a singular moment in history.

December 2, 2013

I can hardly believe that I will once again have the distinct honor of facilitating a discussion with an impressive panel of industry leaders from both the retail and supplier side in this, my tenth appearance as moderator of Drug Store News’ Annual Diabetes Forum.

October 24, 2013

“The best of a chain combined with the best of an independent pharmacy.” That’s how Health Mart president Steve Courtman describes Health Mart’s “unique value proposition in the marketplace.”

October 23, 2013

Looking back at the Health 2.0 7th Annual Fall Conference, more than 2,000 health IT entrepreneurs and thought leaders gathered to forge ahead in leading the healthcare revolution through innovative technologies, policies and collaborative ideas.

October 2, 2013

Secret-keeping in business is no joke, according to Hamacher Resource Group's Dave Wendland. According to Symantec, theft and misappropriation of trade secrets, customer lists and other intellectual assets is estimated to cost U.S. businesses $250 billion annually.

September 24, 2013

The healthcare industry has always had its fair share of buzz words and the pharmacy sector is no exception, said Emdeon's Kevin Mahoney. Medication synchronization, outcomes, clinical services, medication therapy management, accountable care organizations… our conferences and publications are full of experts discussing how pharmacies can successfully participate in these new opportunities. What I find to be so interesting in this new crop of go-to phrases is they all really boil down to one common element and that is patient care.

September 11, 2013

As I look around my part of the country, I can’t help but notice that leaves are starting to change colors, football fans of all flavors are gearing up for competition and pharmacies are stocked up with flu vaccine – ready to begin administration of the annual flu shots.

August 5, 2013

So is it true that all leaders have vision? Or put another way, can leaders be effective without vision? asks Dave Wendland, VP of Hamacher Resource Group. My instincts suggest that a prerequisite to effective leadership is the ability to create and ignite vision.

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.

July 15, 2013

Everyone loves a dark horse — the come-from-behind winner that no one expects. We cheer for them, marvel at their tenacity, and hope for their victory over stronger, better-known competitors. "But why do dark horses win?" asks Mack Elevation Forum founder, Dan Mack.

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 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.