Safeway expands Quest Diagnostics diagnostic testing offering to 12 locations
MADISON, N.J. – Quest Diagnostics and Safeway are teaming up to offer diagnostic testing in 12 Safeway locations, in addition to the two locations currently operating in Arizona through Quest's Sonora Quest Laboratories joint venture with Banner Health, the companies announced Wednesday.
Quest Diagnostics will provide diagnostic testing services offered in company-branded Patient Services Centers in 12 Safeway locations in California, Colorado, Texas, Virginia and Maryland.
"Our collaboration with Quest Diagnostics represents Safeway's commitment to becoming a health and wellness destination for our customers, giving patients convenient access to quality laboratory testing and a unique shopping experience," commented Mark Panzer, SVP pharmacy, health and wellness at Safeway. "This is a natural extension of the robust health and wellness offerings found throughout our stores. We're excited that our customers will have access to healthy foods, pharmacy services and diagnostic testing under one roof."
"We are proud to expand our relationship with Safeway," stated Steve Rusckowski, Quest Diagnostics president and CEO. "We're building on what we learned in Arizona, which is that by providing laboratory testing services where patients also shop, we will make it easier for them to get the quality diagnostic insights they need in convenient locations."
The Patient Services Centers in Safeway will be adjacent to Safeway's in-store pharmacies. The 400 to 500 square-foot PSCs will feature interior designs built to facilitate patient interaction in a secure and private environment with a dedicated restroom with a sample pass-through.
Quest plans to provide patients with remote contact devices that allow them to shop during wait times, providing a more convenient patient experience. Quest and Safeway will also launch co-branded initiatives to reward customers, such as purchase incentives and coupons.
NACDS, NCPA express support for a TRICARE acquisition cost parity pilot program
WASHINGTON – The National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday urged adoption of a key TRICARE provision when House of Representatives and Senate negotiators work to reconcile differences in the House and Senate versions of the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
In a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Ranking Member Adam Smith, D-Wash., NACDS and NCPA expressed support for a TRICARE acquisition cost parity pilot program for community pharmacy, which would provide military families and veterans with the choice of how they get their medications and which also would lower program costs.
The pilot program, which in effect would allow the Department of Defense to access lower pricing for prescriptions dispensed at community pharmacies, is included in the version of the NDAA passed by the House on May 18. The pilot program is not included in the version passed by the Senate on Tuesday.
In the letter, NACDS and NCPA wrote that while the NDAA is being considered, “…it is important that any changes to reduce TRICARE costs are done without jeopardizing the health and access of the more than nine million beneficiaries, including nearly two million children, relying on the TRICARE program.” NACDS and NCPA also noted that the changes that have occurred in recent years to TRICARE place financial burdens on beneficiaries, restrict patient access and can also have the unintended consequence of reducing medication adherence.
Having acquisition cost parity for retail prescriptions will not only reduce costs, the letter states, “…it will also preserve freedom of choice for TRICARE beneficiaries, improve access by utilizing both chain and small business pharmacies in urban and rural areas and provide a uniform and consistent pharmacy benefit with less confusion on where to fill prescriptions.”
NACDS and NCPA maintain that these benefits from the pilot program will lead to improved patient outcomes and sustained, consistent relationships with local pharmacists.