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.

May 16, 2014

A soft cough-cold season has given way to a robust allergy season, Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and EVP, told analysts Thursday, which was one contributing factor to improving overall health and wellness by more than 150 basis points.

May 8, 2014

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and a national coalition working to achieve “provider status” for pharmacists under Medicare Part B have asked the Federal Trade Commission to back legislation to this effect, as well as other policies that would help pharmacists practice at the top of their education level, NACDS reported Thursday.

May 7, 2014

The 46th Annual NCPA Conference on National Legislation and Government Affairs kicked off Wednesday on Capitol Hill, bringing together hundreds of members of the National Community Pharmacists Association to discuss critical community pharmacy issues with members of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as government officials and political insiders.

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 23, 2014

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to advance better care for Medicare patients with chronic conditions.

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 4, 2014

Walgreens helped create a new, larger worksite health organization when it sold a majority interest in Take Care Employer Solutions to strategic health investor Water Street Healthcare Partners. The new entity, which combines Take Care with CHS Health Services, will serve more than 200 leading corporations through nearly 500 worksite health-and-wellness centers across the country. Walgreens still maintains a significant stake in the company and will continue to manage their existing worksite clinics in collaboration with the new company.

The end result will be an opportunity to couple best practices into an entity with a greater economy of scale that's part of a business model with a lot of upside. The vast majority of large employers remain committed to providing benefits to active employees, according to a recent survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health — an association of large employers — released in March. Offering health insurance as an employee benefit is something the majority of small businesses think is very important, too, according to the 2014 Small Business Health Care Survey from the National Small Business Association — 91% of firms fielding between 20 and 50 employees and 94% of businesses with more than 50 employees believe health benefits are crucial to employee recruitment and retention.

March 26, 2014

The month of March came in like a lion, indeed, but not because of the weather. The month began with a roar as a group of the largest and most influential pharmacy associations and chains came together to form the Patient Access to Pharmacists’ Care Coalition, or PAPCC, in an effort to secure formal federal recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers.

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 25, 2014

Walgreens on Tuesday posted a sales increase of 5.1% to $19.6 billion for the second quarter ended Feb. 28. First-half sales were up 5.5% to $37.9 billion.

March 20, 2014

Two-thirds of Americans are satisfied with the way the healthcare system is working for them today, according to a Gallup poll released earlier this week.

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.

March 3, 2014

The Generic Pharmaceutical Association on Friday hosted a Congressional briefing highlighting the economic impact the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule on prescription labeling that would allow for label changes without prior FDA approval.

February 24, 2014

Concurrent opioid prescribing by multiple providers is common in Medicare patients and is associated with higher rates of hospital admission related to opioid use, according to a study published last week in BMJ.

February 19, 2014

Tricare for Life beneficiaries soon will receive letters guiding them to Tricare Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy for some prescriptions as part of a congressionally mandated pilot program, officials of the military healthcare plan reported Tuesday.

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

From 2012 to 2017, global spending on medicines will increase from $205 billion to $235 billion, according to IMS Health. By 2017, 36% of the spend will be on generics, a number that is 9% more than the percentage in 2013.

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.