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CMS decision on diabetes-testing supplies would disrupt care, members of Congress say

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several members of Congress are requesting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reverse a decision to prohibit independent pharmacies from delivering diabetes-testing supplies to homebound seniors.

In a letter to CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner, Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., Peter Welch, D-Vt., and others asked the agency to reconsider the decision, which affects Medicare Part B beneficiaries, saying it would cause disruption in care if implemented in July. Many Part B beneficiaries who need the testing supplies are homebound or in long-term care centers and may not have access to a caregiver who can pick them up at the pharmacy for them. The representatives cited a recent survey finding that 91% of all pharmacies have some form of home delivery of diabetes-testing supplies, and 45% of them deliver the supplies to assisted-living facilities.

"Community pharmacists pride themselves on the superlative level of care that they offer Medicare beneficiaries and all of their patients," CEO B. Douglas Hoey of independent pharmacy trade group the National Community Pharmacists Association said. "That superior level of service is embodied by such unique offerings such as same-day home delivery, which the vast majority of independent community pharmacies offer."

 

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Dan Bartlett joins Walmart as EVP corporate affairs

BY Jason Owen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has appointed Dan Bartlett, former senior counselor to George W. Bush, as its EVP of corporate affairs. Bartlett was most recently president and CEO of the U.S. arm of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global business advisory firm serving corporations, nonprofits and associations in 52 countries.

Bartlett will report to president and CEO Mike Duke, and will serve as a member of the company’s executive council. His responsibilities will include overseeing external communications, government relations and sustainability, as well as the Walmart Foundation, which contributed more than $1 billion in cash and in-kind donations last year.

"Dan’s personal integrity, strong professional skills and broad understanding of world affairs make him the ideal leader to continue moving us forward,” said Duke. “He has had key roles in government and at a major communications company. He has also counseled a wide range of multinational corporate clients in areas such as growth strategy, crisis management and public opinion. He is known for being straightforward, a good listener and collaborative — all traits that will serve him well at Walmart."

At Hill+Knowlton, Bartlett helped lead the firm’s international growth and managed its day-to-day operations. He provided strategic counsel to the company’s largest accounts, which represent key industries, including finance, telecommunications and defense. He has also helped multinational companies and NGOs build and align their sustainability, public policy and philanthropic programs.

"Growing up in a small Texas town, I’ve seen first-hand the opportunity Walmart provides and the positive impact it can have on local communities," said Bartlett. "Now, Walmart is in a unique position to make a difference in the lives of millions of people around the world. I am honored and excited to be part of that.”

As a senior counselor to George W. Bush, Bartlett was responsible for all aspects of the then president’s strategic communications planning, formulation of policy and implementation of the presidential agenda. He also oversaw the White House press office and the offices of communications, media affairs and speechwriting and global communications. Bartlett also played a key role in George W. Bush’s presidential and Texas gubernatorial campaigns.

Bartlett has a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently an adjunct professor at the university’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Bartlett, his wife Allyson and their four young sons will be moving to northwest Arkansas.


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Target donates $250,000 to tornado-relief efforts

BY Alaric DeArment

MINNEAPOLIS — Target will donate a quarter million dollars to disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma following a deadly tornado that killed at least two dozen people and left many more homeless.

The mass-merchandise retailer said the donation would include $150,000 in cash and in-kind donations to the American Red Cross, $30,000 in cash to the Salvation Army, $20,000 in product donations such as water and rescue and recovery suppliers and $50,000 to Plaza Tower and Briarwood Elementary Schools, which were devastated in the storm. On Monday afternoon, a tornado measuring EF5 on the five-point scale used to measure tornadoes’ severity struck Moore, Okla., causing at least 24 deaths, 240 injuries and about $2 billion in damage; the tornado’s death toll was revised downward from the days before, when it was estimated to be as high as 51.

"Target is saddened by the devastation in Moore, Okla., and committed to being a resource for this community," Target president, chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said. "By volunteering our time and donating product and funds, we hope to help the residents of Moore recover from this disaster."

 

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