PHARMACY

CVS Caremark to utilize ActiveHealth CareEngine for PBM customers

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK and WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has inked a three-year agreement with ActiveHealth Management, an independent subsidiary of Aetna, under which CVS Caremark will apply the evidence-based, clinical intelligence of the ActiveHealth CareEngine to healthcare claims for its PBM customers to identify opportunities for improved pharmacy care.

CVS Caremark will apply the CareEngine to more than 800,000 members beginning in April, with additional membership to be added as CVS Caremark consults with its PBM clients.

"The ActiveHealth CareEngine offers evidence-based information that can be used to improve the health care of our members and enables us to take our programs to the next level by seamlessly incorporating medical data," stated Troyen Brennan, EVP and chief medical officer of CVS Caremark. "This agreement will enhance our existing programs to identify issues related to gaps in care, potential drug-to-drug interactions and duplicative care — information that is important to bring to the attention of the member’s physician."

As physicians, the founders and management team of ActiveHealth understand that given the frequency and amount of emerging clinical data, it is challenging for physicians to stay current on every issue that affects their patients. As a result, they created the CareEngine System to address that challenge. Today, ActiveHealth’s team of physicians, pharmacists and registered nurses constantly review the latest clinical evidence and guidelines and build them into the CareEngine System. The CareEngine then reviews the available clinical data on patients, compares it with evidence-based guidelines and delivers care considerations, or "care alerts," that physicians can act on to improve care.

ActiveHealth’s technology will help CVS Caremark identify and address gaps in care and other opportunities to improve care for its members. Research has shown that when acted upon, ActiveHealth care considerations have demonstrated quality improvements and lower costs. In a study of more than 39,000 individuals, ActiveHealth’s clinical decision support technology identified potentially serious medical errors for nearly 1-of-every-20 people, and helped reduce hospitalizations among the study sample by 8.4%

"Initially, these messages will be shared only with members’ physicians, but we believe there is an opportunity to improve member engagement and their compliance with pharmacy care recommendations by sharing that information directly with members. This is especially critical for patients with chronic or complex conditions who see multiple physicians and take multiple medications," stated Brennan of CVS Caremark.

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Walgreens takes top honors for MTM services

BY Alaric DeArment

DES MOINES, Iowa — Walgreens has won recognition from a company that designs medication therapy management programs.

Walgreens, which has invested heavily in their MTM programs, was named the top national chain by Outcomes Pharmaceutical Health Care’s MTM network.

Other honorees included Kerr Drug, Kroger and Supervalu, which were saluted for MTM services provided at one of their respective stores.

“Each year, the competition for top pharmacy chain grows tighter,” Outcomes director of clinical services Jessica Frank said. “We saw significant advances in pharmacy MTM management in 2010 — so much so, we felt it was important to begin recognizing both a national and regional pharmacy chain.”

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Max-Wellness, Humana partner on new in-home healthcare solutions service

BY Michael Johnsen

WOODMERE, Ohio — Health-and-wellness retailer Max-Wellness on Tuesday announced a series of initiatives that vastly will expand the reach of the upstart company.

Among them:

  • Humana Homecare Solutions. Through an agreement with Humana, the new in-home healthcare solutions provider service features an in-store Humana care manager who works with customers to coordinate special in-home services for daily needs, including medication monitoring, home safety and even light housework at each of the four Max-Wellness locations, with four additional stores to come;

  • Mini-Max. A new, smaller footprint store concept that will be strategically located in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, “Mini-Max will feature an assortment of merchandise that patients who are discharged from the facility would need to continue their recovery and rehabilitation,” said Michael Feuer, Max-Wellness founder and CEO. “Working with the hospital staff prior to a patient’s discharge, our wellness advocate will visit the patient [and that patient’s] family members to provide assistance in selecting products for the patient’s continuing care”;

  • Wellness-in-a-Box. The company plans to roll out computerized vending machines in a variety of different venues, including urgent care centers, assisted living facilities, airports and fitness centers. The units will be similar to vending machines currently operated in airports by Best Buy and Apple. Product assortment would vary based on the setting — for instance, an airport merchandise mix could include emergency travel products, as well as sleep aids and skin creams; a fitness center mix could include such items as support products, energy supplements and electronic devices like fat analyzers and heart monitors. The vending units also will link customers to Max-Wellness’ e-commerce to purchase thousands of additional items online for next-day delivery; and

  • Max-Wellness.com. This month, the company will unveil a new e-commerce site, featuring “several thousand key vitamin, supplements and health-and-beauty products,” Feuer noted. The plan is to add additional functionalities over the next year, including the company’s Max-Answers database of health-and-wellness information to assist Web users with product selection. The Max-Answers database currently is available in-store, where Max-Wellness customers have access to portable, electronic tablets to carry with them while they shop.

As part of its e-commerce efforts, the company also will pursue new affinity programs in which Max-Wellness would serve as a preferred provider of health-and-wellness information and products for various third-party organizations, with special offers for members, beneficiaries and/or affiliates.

The company also plans to continue to open additional new stores in 2011 and 2012, including several new markets. However, no further details were made available.

“We believe that the opportunity for our various concepts has been heightened dramatically as a result of the public’s fixation and national media attention on Americans’ quest to live a fuller and more active life,” Feuer said. “We are not only retailers; we are also building a national brand to better serve a broader audience of customers enabling them to shop where, when and how they choose for products and services to enhance their lives, help them prevent illness and treat health issues.”

For an in-depth look at a Max-Wellness prototype, click here

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