PHARMACY

Ralphs and Feeding America partner on wellness campaign

BY Gina Acosta

LOS ANGELES — Ralphs Grocery Company is teaming up with Feeding America food banks in Southern California on a new health and wellness campaign.

Through April 1, Ralphs will donate one meal through the Feeding America network of food banks for every flu shot administered at its in-store pharmacies.

The partnership with Feeding America was made possible through Ralphs' parent company, The Kroger Co. More than 2,300 Kroger operated pharmacies and in-store Little Clinic health care centers, including 81 Ralphs pharmacies, are participating in the health and wellness partnership with Feeding America.

"Ralphs has a long history of giving back to the communities our stores serve," said Kendra Doyel, vice president of corporate affairs for Ralphs. "The partnership between our pharmacies and Feeding America allows us to continue our tradition of community giving by protecting our customers' health and providing a meal to a hungry person for every flu shot administered."

Most Ralphs pharmacies are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. 

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PHARMACY

Diplomat extends oncology campaign

BY David Salazar
FLINT, Mich. — Diplomat Pharmacy will be extending its campaign to grow awareness of its role in the oncology market while honoring pateints who suffer from cancer, the company announced Wednesday. The campaign will focus on multiple myeloma in September. 
 
Diplomat said that it works to ensure that a patient undergoing cancer treatment has a coordinated care team through its Oncology Center of Excellence. The company is encouraging people to share their stories about experiences with cancer — either their personal experience or that of someone they know — using the hashtag #CancerTaughtMe. 
 
“Diplomat works to create trust between the company and our patients,” and chairman Phil Hagerman said. “Many of our team members have experienced cancer in some way in their life, whether through a family member, friend, or personally. They know how to truly care for our patients because they have experienced it, too.”
 
The National Cancer Institute currently projects 1.68 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2016, and the World Health Organization expects the number of new cases to rise 70% in the next two years. 

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Surescripts rolls out medication history service

BY David Salazar
ARLINGTON, Va. — Health information network Surescripts on Wednesday announced that it was unveiling its Medication History for Panel Management service for health systems, accountable care organizations and analytics vendors. The new service provides access to 14 nationwide pharmacies and two pharmacy benefits managers. 
 
The Medication History for Panel Management uses Surescripts connectivity and relationships with PBM and pharmacies to help track and manage population health, the company said. Among the partnerships are Albertson’s Co. with its 13 banners, BestRx, KeyCentrix, Lagniappe, PioneerRX, QS/1, Rite Aid, Rx30, Thrifty White Pharmacy, US Script and Walgreens. 
 
“As a participant in Surescripts’ Panel Management solution, we can enable provider access to high-quality and secure medication data to drive population health,” said Catherine Macpherson, Vice President of Adherence Innovation at Walgreens. “Being able to capture an accurate, complete and timely view of patients’ medication history is essential to driving positive health outcomes.”
 
The Medication History for Panel Management provides access to updated medication from multiple sources that’s monitored and reviewed for quality.  The service is designed to meet the demands of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), including the Advancing Care Initiative that aims to incentivize improvements in information to guide better decision-making by providers. The company said missing or low-quality data can have a negative impact on patient care and safety, as well as quality ratings as more emphasis is placed on outcomes. 
 
 “With the shift to value-based reimbursement models, every provider across the healthcare system needs better information to effectively manage the health of patient populations,” Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton said. “Our panel management service provides the market’s most complete view of patients’ medication information, allowing greater visibility into their overall health, and ultimately improving the quality of care for patients nationwide.”          
 

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