PHARMACY

Analysis: Medicaid to cover more Americans, reduce uninsured rates across all states

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON The expansion of Medicaid under the new health-reform law significantly will increase the number of people covered by the program and will markedly reduce the uninsured in states across the country, with the federal government picking up the overwhelming majority of the cost, according to a state-by-state analysis released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.

 

The analysis, performed by John Holahan and Irene Headen of the Urban Institute for the foundation, is among the first to show for all 50 states and the District of Columbia the distribution of new Medicaid enrollees and costs, as well as the impact on the uninsured. Health reform will offer Medicaid coverage to millions of low-income adults for the first time and help establish a national floor for Medicaid eligibility that sharply contrasts with the wide variation in eligibility across state Medicaid programs today.

 

 

States with large uninsured populations today are expected to see the biggest increases in the numbers of people who obtain health coverage through Medicaid. California and Texas, for example, two states with considerable numbers of uninsured residents, are each projected to see 1.4 million fewer uninsured adults in 2019 due to the Medicaid expansion, with the federal government covering 95% of the cost in Texas and 94% in California.

 

 

“For a relatively small investment of state dollars, states could see huge returns in terms of additional coverage for their lowest income residents — with federal dollars covering the bulk of the bill,” stated Diane Rowland, EVP of the foundation and executive director of the KCMU.

 

 

Nationally, the analysis projects that Medicaid enrollment will climb by 15.9 million more people by 2019 than it otherwise would have, and the number of uninsured will fall by more than 11 million. The cost of the Medicaid expansion between 2014 and 2019 would be jointly financed with the federal government paying $443.5 billion (or 95.4 % of the total cost) and the states contributing $21.2 billion.

 

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CVS Caremark recognized for family-friendly benefits

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has landed on Conceive magazine’s annual “50 Best Companies” list, a list of employers who are leading the way in corporate America with their generous family-building benefits, despite the challenging economy.

“At CVS Caremark one of our goals is to be the best company to work for and we have implemented many programs and initiatives to help us achieve that goal,” stated Lisa Bisaccia, SVP and chief human resources officer for CVS Caremark. “We have developed our benefits package to support our employees — dreams of starting a family in a variety of ways. Whether our employees give birth or choose to adopt, we have benefits available to help support them throughout their journey.”

Released in the summer 2010 issue of Conceive, and available at ConceiveOnline.com, the list highlights U.S. companies that offer their employees the best benefits for starting or adding to their families. The rankings are based on the company’s fertility and adoption coverage, including benefits for assisted reproductive technology and in vitro fertilization, infertility prescription drugs, paid parental leave and cash reimbursement towards adoption expenses.

CVS Caremark offers many family-friendly benefits, including financial adoption assistance, paid and unpaid leave for birth and adoptive parents, and coverage for infertility diagnostic procedures, fertility medications and assisted reproductive technologies up to $20,000 per employee.

Most employers, however, still have a long way to go, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. The percentage of companies that include IVF coverage has dropped from 28% in 2006 to 23% in 2009, and the percentage that offer adoption assistance has dropped from 22% in 2006 to 10% in 2009.

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New college pharmaceutical care lab ‘simulates community pharmacy practice environment’

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK A pharmacy school now has its own state-of-the-art pharmaceutical care laboratory, thanks to Duane Reade.

Long Island University’s Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences opened the Duane Reade Pharmaceutical Care Laboratory, which “simulates a modern community pharmacy practice environment,” said Stephen Gross, dean emeritus of the College of Pharmacy, who secured the funds from Duane Reade.

“It provides important knowledge and skills that will better prepare our students for the advanced practice experiences that students will get when they are placed in actual community pharmacies,” Gross said.

Equipped with a computerized, fully operational prescription department, the new lab features semi-private and private counseling spaces and is being used in a variety of courses, including classes in pharmacotherapeutics and communication skills in pharmaceutical care.

A dedication ceremony for the laboratory was held earlier this spring. In addition to Gross, participants in the ceremony were University president David Steinberg, University VP Jeffrey Kane, Brooklyn campus provost Gale Stevens Haynes and assistant pharmacy dean Lorraine Cicero. Duane Reade was represented by SVP pharmacy operations Frank Scorpiniti.

“Duane Reade has been particularly generous to the college, providing funding for this laboratory, underwriting innovative community pharmacy residency programs and supporting many student-run events and activities,” Gross said.

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