PHARMACY

ContactCenterWorld.com honors CVS’ PBM business

BY Alaric DeArment

WOONSOCKET, R.I. ContactCenterWorld.com has awarded CVS Caremark’s pharmacy benefit management customer care team a gold medal for Best Customer Service and a silver medal for Best Community Spirit, CVS said Friday.

The award was given at the organization’s Top Ranking Performers awards conference in Orlando, Fla. ContactCenterWorld.com is an online resource for contact center industry professionals around the world.

“We are honored to receive this recognition for our customer care team,” CVS Caremark SVP customer care Rosemarie Donzanti said. “This recognition is another endorsement of the work we do each day to ensure our members’ experience with CVS Caremark is the best it can be, and is another example of the high level of commitment our team members bring to their day-to-day work.”

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PHARMACY

NCPA urges delay of PECOS changes that could deter community pharmacy industry

BY Alaric DeArment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. Fearing that the implementation of an electronic provider enrollment program for Medicare Part B in its current form by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could disrupt Part B beneficiaries’ ability to obtain access to their services and supplies, the National Community Pharmacists Association is hoping that the CMS will delay its implementation and make other changes.

The provider enrollment, chain and ownership system is an online system that Part B providers can use instead of paper enrollment so that they can sell durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies, also known as DMEPOS.

The CMS originally had planned to roll out PECOS on Tuesday, but it announced June 30 that while the original implementation date would still be effective, it would “not implement changes that would automatically reject claims based on orders, certifications, and referrals made by providers that have not yet had their applications approved by July 6, 2010.” The NCPA had asked the CMS to delay implementation until Jan. 3, 2011.

Other recommendations made by the NCPA included requiring pharmacy access to nightly provider-referrer enrollment updates to PECOS and removing requirements to include the teaching physician as the ordering or referring supplier and the legal name of the physician or eligible provider on the claim.

“Community pharmacies appreciate and support the PECOS program’s effort to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare,” NCPA acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey said. “However, the slow pace of enrollment and database updates, along with other deficiencies, creates headaches for community pharmacies and could limit access to Medicare Part B medical supplies for seniors, especially in underserved areas.”

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PHARMACY

Merck announces global consolidation plan

BY Alaric DeArment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. Merck will close down eight of its research and development sites and eight of its manufacturing sites as part of a global consolidation plan, the drug maker said Thursday.

The plan will result in around 15% of the company’s staff being laid off as Merck seeks to create a “flexible” research and development organization that focuses on innovation, external collaboration and growth in the company’s product pipeline.

“Today’s announcement is another important step as we successfully integrate our global operations on schedule and move forward with Merck’s strategic priorities,” chairman and CEO Richard Clark said. “These changes are crucial to drive future growth and realize the promise of being a global healthcare leader for the long term.”

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