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Pharmacy groups to U.S. Supreme Court: Pharmacies have right to challenge Medicaid cuts

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Looking to challenge reimbursement rate reductions for Medicaid beneficiaries, pharmacy groups have filed a joint legal brief with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The brief was filed by the American Pharmacists Association, National Association of Chain Drug Stores, National Community Pharmacists Association and the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations in the case of Douglas v. Independent Living Center of California.

The initial lawsuit — filed by pharmacies and other healthcare providers — argues that a 10% Medicaid reimbursement cut in California violates the federal patient access law, which provides that Medicaid reimbursement rates must be “sufficient to enlist enough providers so that care and services are available under the plan at least to the extent that such care and services are available to the general population in the geographic area….” The pharmacy groups argue that proposed cuts would threaten access to care for Medicaid patients.

The joint legal brief filed by the four pharmacy groups further argues that a long line of Supreme Court decisions support the right to challenge state actions that are inconsistent with federal laws, and challenges to inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates must be allowed if they threaten patient access to pharmacy care.

The Supreme Court will hold a hearing in the case on Oct. 3, and may issue a decision later this year.

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Carex launches Ultra Grabber

BY Michael Johnsen

NORWELL, Mass. — Carex Health Brands on Thursday announced the launch of the Ultra Grabber, a mobility device that provides wrist support and enables users to reach up to 32 in. to retrieve items in high areas, on the floor or within common reach that could otherwise present a challenge for individuals. 
 
With a push button lock, a nonslip trigger and rubber grabber cups, the Ultra Grabber features a twist and click shaft with 360-degree rotation enabling greater mobility.
 
The Carex Ultra Grabber is available this month online and at select retailers at a suggested retail price of $25 for a 26-in. SKU and $26 for a 32-in. SKU.

 

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Kerr launches school supply donation campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

RALEIGH, N.C. — Kerr Drug is marking the back-to-school season with a school supply donation campaign through the Kerr Cares for Kids Foundation, the regional retail pharmacy chain said Friday.

On Thursday, each Kerr store set up a bin to collect donations of new school supplies, ranging from paper and pens to notebooks and backpacks. Supplies will be collected until Sept. 15 and will be donated to local charities.

"Kerr Drug is a leader in the healthcare industry because of our dedication to community pharmacy," Kerr CEO Tony Civello said. "What better way to give back to the communities we serve than by helping children prepare for school."

Other chains have launched similar initiatives. On Tuesday, Seattle-based Bartell Drugs launched a school supply donation drive under a partnership with manufactures Mead, Avery and Bic. The Bartell drive will last through Aug. 28, and supplies will be donated to a local charity where teachers can obtain supplies for underprivileged students.

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