July 10, 2013

McKesson ideaShare 2013 concluded with a bang, as healthcare and policy experts discussed the implementation of healthcare reform and the impact it will have on community pharmacy during a special Public Policy Forum session held on June 29, the final day of the conference.

July 10, 2013

Walgreens and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association launched a national campaign to educate consumers about the new healthcare reform law and provide them with key information on how to access coverage and understand other changes they may experience as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

July 3, 2013

The Obama administration announced a one-year delay on a health reform mandate that mid-size and larger employers provide health coverage or pay a penalty to 2015.

June 27, 2013

A lobbying group representing retailers is hoping Congress will delay the full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act next year.

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 13, 2013

Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

June 4, 2013

Seven leading point-of-care health media and information firms on Tuesday formed a new industry association called the Point-of-Care Communication Council, or PoC3.

June 4, 2013

The healthcare reform law will add 6 million Americans to Medicaid and 21 million to affordable insurance exchanges, according to a new study.

May 8, 2013

Drug maker Bristol-Myers Squibb foresees significant effects on its business from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, company executives told attendees of its recent shareholder meeting.

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 12, 2013

A proposal to further reduce Medicaid drug reimbursement that was included in President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget plan is “premature” and federal Medicaid officials should focus on modifying and completing already proposed regulations to set future federal upper limits for reimbursement of most generic drugs, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association said.

April 2, 2013

Next year, for the first time since Medicare Part D's inception, the deductible for the defined standard plan will be lower than in previous years, as healthcare spending across the country has been growing, with Medicare spending per beneficiary at 0.4% in 2012.

March 29, 2013

A new Medicare Chronic Conditions Dashboard announced today by Marilyn Tavenner, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, furthers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s goals for health promotion and the prevention and management of multiple chronic conditions.

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 12, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has announced that Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff for policy for President Barack Obama, will be the keynote speaker at the NACDS Chain Members and Political Action Committee (NACDS-PAC) breakfast, which will be held on April 22 during the NACDS Annual Meeting in Palm Beach, Fla.

February 22, 2013

Overall Medicare prescription drug costs will go down in 2014, but the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap will get bigger, according to published reports.

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 25, 2013

SCIO Health Analytics and Walgreens have teamed up to help employers gain maximum return on investment through worksite health centers. Through the partnership, SCIO will provide actionable data and reporting to demonstrate the value and impact of worksite health centers, while giving Walgreens’ clients areas of opportunity to further improve employee health and reduce costs.

More and more employers get it, and there is growing belief that as the clock ticks down to 2014 and full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, even more employers will get it. In the meantime, projects like this that help provide outcome reporting will help make the ROI picture even clearer for big employers who still might be on the fence.

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 14, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a new rule that it said would promote consistent policies and processes for eligibility notices in Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and the health insurance exchanges mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

January 10, 2013

Advocare Walgreens Well Network, Diagnostic Clinic Walgreens Well Network and Scott & White Walgreens Well Network have been selected as three of 106 new Accountable Care Organizations in Medicare, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

January 9, 2013

Ten issues will take center stage as the healthcare industry moves to meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.