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Home health care shows strongest job growth in healthcare sector, May data show

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — Most of the growth in jobs in the healthcare sector comes from home health care, according to data released this month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS data found that of the 11,000 or more healthcare jobs added in May, 7,000 were in home health care, while the other 4,000 were in the outpatient care field. Still, leaders in the home health industry have expressed concern about possible policy threats, such as Medicare rebasing. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are directed to rebase home health payments between 2014 and 2017, and analyses have indicated that the current trajectory of Medicare home health reimbursements could produce negative margins in 10 states by 2017, according to the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare, an advocacy organization.

"As the ACA implementation process continues, we urge CMS to carefully consider the important role home health has in the nation’s ongoing employment recovery and the economic state of our sector under current law," PQHH CEO Eric Berger said. "Home health care not only provides vital and cost-effective services to nearly 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries; it is creating thousands of quality jobs for healthcare professionals."

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Actavis partners with Medicines360 to sell low-cost IUDs in public clinics

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Drug maker Actavis is working with nonprofit pharmaceutical company Medicines360 to make low-cost intrauterine devices available to women, the two said.

The partnership will make the devices available at very low prices to public-sector health clinics around the country. Actavis has licensed U.S. commercial rights for the Medicines360 LNG20 IUD, and Medicines360 retains rights to market the product in the U.S. public sector, including family-planning clinics that provide services to low-income women. Belgian drug maker Uteron Pharma originally developed the device, which is currently in phase-3 clinical trials in the United States and may be launched as early as next year.

"Ensuring patient access to affordable generic pharmaceuticals and specialty brand products that provide consumers with additional treatment options is fundamental to Actavis’ history of leadership in pharmaceuticals," Actavis president for specialty brands Fred Wilkinson said. "Medicines360’s business model, which is unique in ensuring access and affordability, represents a continuation of our commitment to these shared principles."

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The Vitamin Shoppe to host a ‘Share the Health’ Expo

BY Michael Johnsen

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The Vitamin Shoppe on Thursday announced that June 22 the specialty retailer will host a "Share the Health" Expo.

"At the Vitamin Shoppe we care about our customers’ health and wellness goals," stated Doug Henson, SVP retail operations for the Vitamin Shoppe. "By participating in the ‘Share the Health Expo’ we and our partners from local organizations have an opportunity to make a difference in the health of our local communities."

The Expo is free to attend, and the first 50 participants will receive a free goodie bag with health products from vendors including Doctor’s Best, Host Defense Organic Mushrooms and Enzymaic Therapy/Nature’s Way.

All Vitamin Shoppe stores will have local health-and-wellness partners at the stores during the day to talk with customers, showcase new products and sample new items. Each store will reflect their local community offering different local partners, the company noted.  


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