May 9, 2013

Bipartisan legislation that would let pharmacists devote more time to Medicare beneficiaries and less to adjudicating claims with pharmacy benefit management firms was introduced in the U.S. Senate and won the backing of the National Community Pharmacists Association earlier this week.

May 7, 2013

A Walgreens survey found that 37% of Medicare Part D beneficiaries have daily concerns about their prescription drug costs, and 1-in-5 say they’ve had to make sacrifices, such as delaying filling a prescription or skipping doses, to help manage medication costs.

April 21, 2013

“We are writing history, and you are historic figures.” That was a key message that Steve Anderson, National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO, had for community pharmacy during Sunday morning’s business session at NACDS Annual Meeting as the association celebrates its 80th anniversary.

April 19, 2013

President Barack Obama sent his $3.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress on April 10, and the plan includes a number of provisions designed to cut spending on health care and promote health and wellness.

Overall, the budget is something of a mixed bag for the healthcare industry. While it would provide incentives for expanding the use of generic drugs, for example, it would also cut spending on Medicaid that have drawn opposition from pharmacy retailers, and even generic drug makers disagree with some of its provisions for that industry.

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 11, 2013

QS/1 has released Medicare Part B compliance documentation, which it said would be the first of its type on the market to help pharmacies that want to serve Part B customers while remaining compliant, the company said.

April 9, 2013

A MinuteClinic location at a CVS store in downtown Columbia, S.C., got a visit from one of the state's top health officials recently.

April 9, 2013

A desire to save money is driving younger and older adults to request cheaper drugs from their doctors, but it's also driving younger adults not to take their drugs as prescribed, according to a new study.

April 8, 2013

A growing number of patients on Medicaid are filling their prescriptions through Managed Medicaid plans instead of the fee-for-service model as states switch them over in an effort to improve patient care and cut healthcare costs, but the effects remain unclear, according to a new study.

April 3, 2013

The recent call letter released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services addresses issues that can have an adverse effect on the program's cost and quality of care, a trade group representing independent retail pharmacies said Wednesday.

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 22, 2013

Legislation to expand the use of telehealth technology under Medicare to reduce hospital re-admissions in rural and underserved communities has been re-introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

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.

March 8, 2013

While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

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 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 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

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for its hearing on “Fostering Innovation to Fight Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Health Care.”

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

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday commended a bipartisan push for the Government Accountability Office to review the impact on patients of sharp reductions in reimbursement for diabetes test supplies provided by community pharmacies to Medicare beneficiaries.

February 22, 2013

The YMCA is offering a demonstration project to show that its YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program — part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's broader National Diabetes Prevention Program — can lower the incidence of Type 2 diabetes and reduce medical costs incurred by Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is funding the project, whereby YMCAs in 17 communities that deliver the program will offer it at no cost to 10,000 Medicare enrollees over the next three years, and the YMCA expects it to save Medicare $4.2 million over three years and $53 million over six years.

It's been said that, "It takes a village to raise a child," and because chronic disease is an issue that affects communities as a whole - not just individuals - it would make sense for community-based organizations to target a growing national health crisis like the diabetes epidemic.

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.