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Many patients feel ‘overwhelmed’ by diabetes management, lack personal care plans, Meijer survey finds

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Half of people with diabetes feel overwhelmed in managing their disease and diet, according to a new survey conducted by Meijer.

The mass merchandise retailer announced Tuesday the results of a survey in the five states it serves, finding that those feeling overwhelmed with disease management don’t have a personal care plan to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The survey included people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, as well as prediabetes, a condition of heightened blood sugar in which a person is at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, nearly 90% of respondents could not fully identify the complications that can result from poor management of diabetes, like cardiovascular disease and blindness.

Meijer has launched a new section of its website for diabetes patients, Meijer.com/Diabetes, as part of American Diabetes Month, as part of a partnership with the American Diabetes Association. The web page provides customers with diabetes resources, such as a risk-assessment test and information on nutrition, exercise and medication management to help create personal care plans.

"While the challenges of managing diabetes or being at risk for the disease can sometimes seem overwhelming, there are many places consumers can turn to get answers to their questions, like your local pharmacist," Meijer drug store VP Nat Love said. "Nearly 40% of those surveyed told us that, in addition to regular doctor visits, they are more willing to talk with pharmacists and find that walk-in clinical services are convenient for getting extra support in developing their personal care plans for diabetes."

The chain is highlighting its services for diabetes patients, like specially trained diabetes pharmacists, free metformin for patients with prescriptions, assistance with Medicare Part B changes, glucose and health screenings and dieticians who can offer advice on diabetes-friendly foods and recipes.

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L.Brasfield says:
Nov-08-2013 01:40 pm

I work as a school nurse and see first hand how overwhelming diabetes management is for students (of any age) and their families. It is evident also that the more resources available to the family, the more successful they can be with the management. We live in a rural area and have fewer resources than those in urban areas. The pharmacist is a very important part of the team and I applaud your efforts to provide an added resource to these families. You did mention another resource that is very important and that is the dietitian. Unfortunately, our students and their families rarely utilize that resource due to cost and required travel (usually out of town). I hope that your work will continue into other states. Thank you, Leslie Brasfield, RN, BSN

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CVS’ MinuteClinic sees 18% revenue growth during Q3

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark posted “solid” results during its third quarter, and its MinuteClinic business was no exception.

During the quarter ended Sept. 30, the retail clinic business enjoyed revenue growth of 18%.

From a comp perspective, MinuteClinic has, most recently, been comping in the teens to low 20s, Dave Denton, EVP, CFO, controller and chief accounting officer, told analysts during the company’s third-quarter conference call Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, the company continues to see a high rate of adoption from health plans and government-sponsored programs.

During the quarter, the company opened 42 net new clinics including clinics in two new states — Hawaii and Louisiana. It ended the quarter with 726 clinics in 27 states and the District of Columbia.

“Our long-term goal is to create a platform that supports primary care by providing integrated, high-quality care that is convenient, accessible and affordable,” said CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo.

 

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CVS’ Merlo: Health reform to benefit business in 2014

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark, which posted solid third-quarter results across its enterprise, is well-positioned to benefit from the rapidly changing healthcare environment. That was a key message that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo had for analysts Tuesday morning during the company’s third-quarter conference call.

“The healthcare environment is changing rapidly, and there are certainly a number of moving parts from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the private exchanges. Collectively, we expect changes within this environment to be a net positive for our business in 2014,” Merlo told analysts.

To drive growth and take advantage of the evolving landscape, the pharmacy retailer will participate in coverage expansion in the public exchanges, and also will participate in the private exchange market for both active employees and retirees.

He noted that, as the No. 1 PBM player in the managed Medicaid space, the company also is well-positioned to gain share through Medicaid expansion.

What will this mean for PBM margins? Merlo acknowledged that while it does expect to see some churn in PBM lives and perhaps some margin compression, it expects this to be mitigated by such cost-management tools as narrow networks, its Maintenance Choice offering, etc. The bottom line: The company does not expect a material impact on PBM margins in the “foreseeable future.”

“In addition to tighter pharmacy management tools, we also expect share gains from both market expansion and market churn as an additional lever to help offset PBM margin compression,” Merlo added.

Another boon for CVS Caremark is that its opportunities as it relates to healthcare reform extend beyond just its PBM business.

“Leveraging our retail footprint, we can support health plan marketing initiatives ranging from limited pilot marketing programs to full-scale educational programs. In fact, over the next six months we expect health plans to host more than 6,000 marketing events in more than 1,000 of our stores across 20 states.”

Strong results drive revised 2013 guidance

For the quarter ended Sept. 30, net revenues rose 5.8% to $32 billion compared with the year-ago period.

Net income totaled $1.25 billion, or $1.02 per share, compared with $1 billion, or 79 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding a gain from a legal settlement, adjusted earnings per share rose 23.9% to $1.05.

Revenues in its pharmacy services segment rose 7.8% to $19.5 billion in the quarter. The 2014 selling season proved “strong” for its PBM business as it has completed 75% of renewals to date and has a 96% retention rate, Merlo told analysts. Net new business totaled about $1.8 billion.

Within specialty pharmacy, revenues rose about 22% year over year. Driving the growth: drug price inflation, utilization, new product launches and new PBM clients.

It is interesting to note that, to further differentiate its offerings, the company is leveraging its brick-and-mortar stores to pilot a specialty pharmacy delivery offering.

“What we’ve been able to do is take all of our specialty capabilities and connect to our retail stores. So, now members that want to get access to specialty medications can go in any one of our 7,400 stores as we roll this program out next year,” Jon Roberts, EVP and president of CVS Caremark Pharmacy Services, told analysts during the call. “We will leverage all of the back-end clinical capabilities, the billing capabilities, the fulfillment capabilities and then we will be able to deliver that prescription either to the member’s home — like what happens today with specialty pharmacy — or deliver it to their local CVS/pharmacy. Similar to Maintenance Choice, half of the people want to pick up their specialty prescription in their CVS local store and the other half want it mailed to their home.”

Meanwhile, the retail business posted a revenue increase of 5% to $16.3 billion. Same-store sales rose 3.6%. Pharmacy same-store sales increased 5.7%, while front-end same-store sales slipped 1% due to softer foot traffic. The company noted that, despite slower foot traffic, both front-store basket size and front-store margin improved “modestly” during the quarter.

Given the company’s strong operating results to date and its outlook for the remainder of the year, the company has raised and narrowed its earnings guidance for 2013. It now expects adjusted earnings per share to be between $3.94 and $3.97 in 2013. This compares with its prior guidance of $3.90 to $3.96 per share.

“We are pleased with our strong third-quarter results and optimistic about the outlook for this year and next. We see the evolving healthcare environment as an opportunity for growth, and we believe we are very well-positioned to gain market share across the enterprise,” Merlo said.

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