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CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation launches new website, software

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation has launched a new website and customer relationship management software program, the group said Monday.

The foundation — which is affiliated with CancerCare, a provider of free, professional emotional and financial support services for people affected by cancer — said that along with the implementation of the software, DiseaseTrak, it could provide same-day determination and conditional approval and allow for a higher standard of care for cancer patients by allowing faster access to co-payment assistance.

"This tool will drastically improve patient access to treatment," director Michele McCourt said. "The process is easy, fast and seamless. You never have to wait because you will always know the same day whether you’re approved."

Patients also will have real-time knowledge of their status, eliminating the usual wait and uncertainty, the group said. Patients and healthcare providers will experience an enhanced level of customer service because the site closely monitors each individual’s unique treatment regimen, dispensing history and medication usage. The website provides reminder tools and an interactive calendar to assist patients in managing their care and allows for tracking of grants and payments.

 

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Study finds e-cigarettes comparable to patches in smoking cessation

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — E-cigarettes may be as effective as nicotine patches in helping smokers quit, according to a new study.

Researchers in Auckland, New Zealand, selected 657 smokers who were attempting to quit, dividing them into one group of 289 who received e-cigarettes, 295 who received nicotine patches and 73 who received placebo e-cigarettes without nicotine. The study was published online Monday in British medical journal The Lancet.

After six months, the researchers found, 7.3% of smokers in the e-cigarette group had not smoked cigarettes, compared with 5.8% who used patches and 4.1% who used placebo e-cigarettes.

Still, the researchers cautioned that overall, abstinence from tobacco was lower than anticipated, giving insufficient cause to claim that e-cigarettes are superior to patches or placebo e-cigarettes, but the researchers did conclude that they were "modestly effective" and seemed comparable to nicotine patches.

"Uncertainty exists about the place of e-cigarettes in tobacco control, and more research is urgently needed to clearly establish their overall benefits and harms at both individual and population levels," the researchers wrote.


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Giant-Landover begins offering flu shots for 2013-2014 season

BY Alaric DeArment

LANDOVER, Md. – Giant Food has started offering flu vaccinations at all of its in-store pharmacies, the supermarket chain said Monday.

Giant, based in Landover, Md., and owned by Ahold USA, said customers with a Giant Pharmacy Prescription Savings Care would receive $10 off the regular price of a flu shot and that most major insurance plans and Medicare would be accepted. Also, customers will be eligible to receive a coupon book with more than $40 in savings from various vendors.

"As stewards for the nation’s capital grocer, Giant Food associates have maintained their long-standing commitment to supporting the health and wellness of surrounding communities," Giant director of pharmacy operations Gayle Shields said. "The seasonal flu shots offered at scores of neighborhood stores in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Washington, D.C., exemplifies this promise."


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