PHARMACY

Rite Aid joins Surescripts’ Clinical Interoperability Network

BY Alaric DeArment

ARLINGTON, Va. — Retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid will deliver patients’ immunization notifications directly to healthcare providers over the Surescripts Network for Clinical Interoperability.

Rite Aid and Surescripts said Thursday that the Surescripts Physician Notification Letter for Immunizations would allow Rite Aid stores to electronically send immunization records in an efficient, secure and coordinated way. In the future, Rite Aid will also be able to use the Surescripts network to send immunization reports to state and regional public health registries where there is a mandatory or voluntary reporting requirement.

"Pharmacists continue to play a critical role on a patient’s healthcare team," Surescripts president and CEO Harry Totonis said. "At Surescripts, we are committed to supporting and enhancing the delivery of valuable clinical care information directly to care providers. By way of the Surescripts network, it will be easier for Rite Aid pharmacists to provide much-needed care delivery information, such as immunizations, to other members of a patient’s healthcare team."

In the coming weeks, Surescripts and Rite Aid said, all of Rite Aid’s stores will be able to send a notification of a patient’s immunizations to the patient’s healthcare provider in whatever form the provider prefers, whether electronically, by fax or mail. In addition, providers and pharmacies will be able to have a more coordinated way to share updates on delivered care and documentation related to immunization.

"Today’s patients are taking on a greater role in their health and are putting more of a focus on preventative care than ever before," Rite Aid SVP pharmacy operations Dan Miller said. "Immunizations are an important part of preventative care, and that’s why we’ve trained all Rite Aid pharmacists to be able to provide immunizations as allowed by the state."


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PHARMACY

Rite Aid reports 3% decrease in comps for November

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — As expected, Hurricane Sandy left its mark on Rite Aid’s monthly sales as the chain reported a decline in comps for November.

The company said the 3% decrease in same-store sales for the five-week period ended Saturday included a 0.5% decrease in front-end comps and a 4.2% decrease in pharmacy comps, while same-store prescription count increased 2.2% compared with the same time last year.

The company had anticipated a negative effect from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the Northeast in October, killing dozens and leaving millions without power and forcing most retailers to temporarily close down their stores in the affected region. According to Rite Aid, the total effect of Sandy included a negative effect of 0.4% on front-end comps and 1.5% on same-store prescription count. Still, the company said last month that it did not expect Sandy to significantly affect its fiscal year 2013 sales overall.

Total drug store sales for the month decreased by 2.3%, to $2.396 billion, from $2.452 billion in November 2011.

For the 13 weeks ended on Saturday, comps decreased by 1.5%, including a 1.1% increase in front-end comps and a 2.7% decrease in pharmacy comps. Same-store prescription count increased by 3.6%. For the year to date, comps increased by 0.3%, including a 1.7% increase in front-end comps, a 0.4% decrease in pharmacy comps and a 3.5% increase in same-store prescription count.

 

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RxAlly hires Kerr Drug executive

BY Alaric DeArment

LEESBURG, Va. — A network of pharmacies formed with the goal of helping patients achieve better health outcomes while reducing costs has appointed a new executive to its leadership team.

RxAlly announced the appointment of Rebecca Chater as VP health outcomes. Chater, a pharmacist who has worked in clinical services for 20 years, will be responsible for providing leadership and clinical management of RxAlly solutions and integrating business development with clinical staff and operations.

"Rebecca’s impressive credentials and extensive track record of success speaks to both her tremendous expertise and her genuine passion for enhancing the value of community-based, patient-focused quality pharmacy care," RxAlly CEO Bruce Roberts said. "We are very fortunate to have her on board. Her role will be critical in helping RxAlly develop and implement on a national scale industry-leading clinical service programs that support RxAlly’s member pharmacies in providing the highest quality pharmacy care available."

Most recently, Chater was an EVP at Kerr Drug subsidiary Kerr Health.


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