NASP launches resource site about DIR Fees
WASHINGTON — The National Association of Specialty Pharmacy on Monday launched a new resource hub built around educating patients and pharmacists about the impact the organization sees direct and indirect remuneration, or DIR, fees having on specialty pharmacies and the patients they serve.
“Big Pharmacy Benefit Management firms have worked hard to make DIR fees so complicated and opaque that very few people understand how they impact sick seniors enrolled in Medicare,” NASP executive director Sheila Arquette said. “DIR fees endanger the integrity of the Medicare Part D program, which is intended to ensure quality, satisfaction, and cost effectiveness for sick seniors across the nation.”
StopDIRfees.com is aimed at showing how NASP sees access clinical and patient support services being reduced by DIR fees. The organization also highlighted new research showing the increased out-of-pocket costs caused by Medicare Part D benefit design, rebates and remunerations. It includes information and testimonials about how DIR fees are imposed, as well as an online petition and contact information for elected officials.
“Big PBMs risk putting profits over patients, and squeezing out the specialty pharmacies working as an extension of physicians treating sick seniors as they manage complex, life-altering, or life-threatening diseases,” Avella Specialty Pharmacy CEO and NASP president Rebecca Shanahan said. “It’s time for Washington to take action by requiring PBMs to stop DIR fees and enhance transparency by opening up their ‘black box’ of information. We need big PBMs to engage in an open and honest discussion around containing prescription medication costs for sick seniors, and work with specialty pharmacies to establish standards and incentives that apply to the unique services provided or patients treated by specialty pharmacies.”
RediClinic delivering on BTS exams and vaccinations through all locations
HOUSTON — RediClinic is offering back-to-school physical exams and vaccinations in all locations, helping parents and students meet school requirements, the company announced Monday. Conveniently located in select neighborhood Rite Aid pharmacies and H-E-B grocery stores, RediClinic makes back-to-school fast and easy.
“RediClinic makes one of the busiest times of year easier for parents by helping students return to school healthy,” stated Danielle Barrera, chief operating and marketing officer for RediClinic. “Parents may find it difficult to visit their pediatrician before the summer is over. RediClinic solves this problem: it’s open every day, including weekends, and offers extended hours during the week. Parents can schedule same- or next-day appointments easily at RediClinic.com. Get in. Get out."
At the completion of the exam, RediClinic provides parents with a comprehensive printed report of their child’s health and vaccination status. RediClinic can also complete school-required physical forms that parents bring to the appointment. Clinic staff will also send a copy of the medical record to the child’s pediatrician.
Kalorama projects 8% annual growth for telemedicine market
ROCKVILLE, Md. — Market researcher Kalorama Information recently shared in a New York Times report that the telemedicine market holds significant growth potenital.
"Telemedicine is a $9.2 billion business," stated Kalorama publisher Bruce Carlson in the story. "The field is growing at 8% annually, nearly three times as fast as other medical devices."
The Times article, "Heart and Asthma Monitors? There's an App for That," used information from Kalorama Information's Remote Patient Monitoring Markets Remote Patient Monitoring & Telemedicine Market.
Kalorama Information noted that the market for telemonitoring is growing as awareness of the benefits of the technology increases. And while it's still difficult to get payors to reimburse for every use of the technology, providers themselves are often paying for the equipment as it benefits their operations.
"It's in everyone's interest to cut hospital days," Carlson said. "And with nurse staff shortages in most U.S. regional markets, these technologies make sense for the provider even where unreimbursed. That being said, companies will want to obtain positive studies demonstrating benefits to improve their clout with payors."
The article covered a company named Eko Devices, one of many telehealth companies that has seen investor interest. The company, according to the article, raised nearly $5 million and sold 6,000 digital stethoscopes, used in 700 hospitals. They are marketing the Duo, a digital stethoscope for home use, which could change how heart patients are monitored, the entrepreneurs say. It is scheduled to become available by prescription in the fall. The product, the article said, combines electrocardiogram, or E.K.G., readings and heart sounds into a device that allows patients to monitor their health at home and send data to their physicians.