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Analysis: Aetna Specialty Pharmacy users achieve high adherence rates

BY Alaric DeArment

HARTFORD, Conn. Patients using a health insurer’s specialty pharmacy have shown higher medication adherence, according to a recent internal analysis.

Aetna announced last week results of the analysis, showing that patients receiving medications through Aetna Specialty Pharmacy achieved more than 95% adherence rates when treating such diseases as HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C, pulmonary arterial hypertension, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis – conditions that often require self-administration of shots of expensive medications and adherence to complex dosing schedules.

Patients with hepatitis C achieved the highest adherence rates, at 97.39%, followed by 97.21% for pulmonary arterial hypertension patients and 97% for HIV patients. The lowest rate, 93.38%, was found among asthma patients.

“This analysis confirms that the personal attention members receive through Aetna Specialty Pharmacy’s care management program has a positive impact on medication adherence,” Aetna Pharmacy Management chief clinical officer Edmund Pezalla said in a statement. “Our coordinated care management approach has helped thousands of Aetna members with the most common chronic conditions stay on their doctor’s recommended treatment plan, which contributes to a healthier member population.”

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Stater Bros. to offer flu, pneumonia vaccines to customers

BY Allison Cerra

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Stater Bros. Supermarkets is helping customers stay healthy and well by offering seasonal flu and pneumonia vaccines. The vaccination period will start Sept. 17 and run through Nov. 1 at most Stater Bros. locations.

Participating Stater Bros. Supermarkets will be providing flu vaccination clinics in partnership with Test-Med Vaccination Services during scheduled days and times in September, October and November. Licensed nurses will administer the vaccines to adults age 18 and over, and the vaccinations will be given as long as supplies last.

The cost is $25 per vaccination. Test-Med is an approved Medicare part B provider, so eligible customers should bring their Medicare ID cards to the clinic, and they may be eligible to receive the vaccination with no out-of-pocket expense.

In addition to providing the seasonal flu vaccines, Stater Bros. Markets is working with vaccine providers, state, local and federal health authorities to obtain a supply of the vaccine to combat against the H1N1 virus. This vaccine is expected to be available in November.

“In the current economic environment, many of our customers have been forced to cut costs at the expense of their health,” stated Jack H. Brown, Stater Bros. chairman and CEO. “Stater Bros. has made the process of getting a flu shot affordable and convenient, so that our customers will have no reason to go unprotected this flu season.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts an unusually severe flu season, elevating the urgency for certain groups and demographics to receive this vaccine. In addition to bringing the flu vaccine to its convenient locations, Stater Bros. is also helping customers get more value for their ever stretched budget through the company’s $4 Generic Prescription Program. Over 300 commonly prescribed medications are $4 for a 30 day supply or $10 for a 90 day supply.

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Report: Harris Teeter to implement new EHR in stores

BY DSN STAFF

MATTHEWS, N.C. A supermarket chain based in Matthews, N.C. has implemented an electronic health record to improve prescription accuracy in its pharmacy department, according to reports.

Harris Teeter Supermarket and Pharmacy announced that the new EHR will be implemented in all 118 Harris Teeter stores across the eastern part of the country. The chain is a subsidiary of the Ruddick Corp. and operates 188 stores in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as multiple stores in the District of Columbia.

The new EHR, known as MedFlash, is provided by Florida-based Connectyx Technologies Holding Group Inc.  MedFlash is an USB-enabled personal health and lifestyle record allowing for easy patient access to health data. With the drive, a patient can access data from multiple locations, enabling pharmacists the make informed decisions regarding patient prescriptions.

The company said prescription procedures will be more efficient with the new EHR implementation.

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