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Convenient care clinics, NPs and PAs take center stage at RCEC 2013

BY Antoinette Alexander

The importance of convenient care clinics within the U.S. healthcare system, along with the nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in them, rang loud and clear at the sixth annual Retail Clinician Education Congress held in May.

The three-day educational and networking forum, which is accredited for both nurse practitioners and physician assistants, was held May 14 to 16 at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas. The Drug Store News Group, in conjunction with the Convenient Care Association and Partners in Healthcare Education, hosted the conference.

In addition to a track accredited for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, RCEC 2013 once again held the Executive and Health Systems Leadership Colloquium, a special executive track for management, upper management and C-level executives of retail clinic operators, as well as companies and organizations interested in entering the retail clinic industry.


A CEO/Leadership Panel offers attendees healthcare industry updates relevant to clinical practice.

New wrinkles in this year’s RCEC included a poster session program, which not only represented an important opportunity for healthcare providers to share research, programs and results with their peers, but it also increased the number of CE credits that clinicians could earn at RCEC. Attendees mingled with the authors to learn more about their poster presentations  during the Meet the Author events. The posters covered such topics as weight management and infectious diseases.

Marking its third year on the program, the CEO/Leadership Panel discussion offered attendees a first hand update from top clinic executives on critical healthcare changes, challenges and opportunities. A transcript of the CEO/Leadership Panel will be published in the next issue of DSN Collaborative Care.  

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Catamaran signs 10-year PBM outsourcing deal with Cigna

BY Alaric DeArment

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — Catamaran will provide pharmacy benefit management services to Cigna Corp. for 10 years under a new deal between the PBM and the health insurer.

The two companies said they would partner on sourcing, fulfillment and clinical services to drive better cost and clinical outcomes for patients and employers. Cigna will lead formulary management, clinical and product development and sales and marketing while managing day-to-day customer- and client-facing functions, providing clinical services to more than 8 million customers and integration of medical care and disability management with clinical and pharmacy programs. Cigna also will continue to be the brand for pharmacy-related customer interactions, and all home-delivery prescription drugs and refills will be dispensed and distributed under its name and label.

"Our integrated pharmacy benefit management business has delivered exceptional results for our customers and clients and continues to be an essential part of our strategy," Cigna president and CEO David Cordani said. "This strategic PBM partnering agreement will complement Cigna’s strengths of partnering with physicians to engage customers in their overall health and wellness."

Cigna said the deal would add about 50 cents to its share price in 2015 and expected costs related to the deal after taxes to reach about $25 million in second quarter 2013. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Industry analyst Adam Fein, writing in his Drug Channels blog, wrote that Cigna was "showing confidence in the independent PBM model" by entering an outsourcing deal with Catamaran. Of the three models it could have chosen — insourcing, full outsourcing and selective outsourcing — it chose the selective outsourcing model, which Fein compared with the 12-year contract that Aetna signed with CVS Caremark in 2010.

This, Fein wrote, was because of terms of the deal that included Cigna’s retaining formulary management, clinical and product development and other services and leading the integration activities of medical and pharmacy benefit; and Catamaran’s provision of prescription-drug procurement and inventory management, order fulfillment, retail-network management and claims processing while maintaining a mostly behind-the-scenes role.

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Annie’s expands microwavable macaroni & cheese cups line

BY Jason Owen

BERKELEY, Calif. — Annie’s is expanding its line of macaroni and cheese products with the introduction of three macaroni and cheese microwavable cups, available in real aged cheddar, white cheddar and gluten-free rice pasta and cheddar. One of the first microwavable cups with macaroni and cheese made with high quality organic and natural ingredients, Annie’s latest product delivers the great taste families expect from Annie’s.

"Annie’s has always been committed to offering convenient and wholesome meals and snacks," said Sarah Bird, chief mom officer for Annie’s. "We’re continuing that tradition by bringing easy-to-make microwavable mac and cheese cups to snack time, lunch time and dinner tables everywhere, as we recognize today’s families are busy and sometimes need quick meal solutions."

The single- and two-pack varieties will be available at retailers nationwide this summer. Annie’s Macaroni & Cheese Microwavable Cups are made with 100% real, rBST-free+ cheese, and without artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. Both the white cheddar and real aged cheddar flavors are made with organic pasta, and the real aged cheddar flavor has 8 g of whole grains per serving. A gluten-free variety also is available, which is made with rice pasta.

Annie’s is a leading provider of natural and organic alternatives to traditional comfort foods. Additional Annie’s pasta products include organic shells and white cheddar, classic macaroni and cheese, Bernie’s Farm macaroni and cheese, gluten-free microwaveable mac and cheese with real aged cheddar, and deluxe real aged cheddar macaroni and cheese.


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