PHARMACY

Sepracor may owe government $100 million

BY Drew Buono

MARLBOROUGH, Mass. Sepracor has announced that it has begun a review of its federal price reporting and could have to repay $80 to $100 million in government rebated it received from 2002 to 2007, according to published reports.

The firm said it has informed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that it may have to restate prices for the federal Medicaid rebate program, other federal programs and state agreements. The company said it provided prices to entities that may not have qualified for rebate programs.

In particular, Sepracor’s review is focusing on transactions involving Pennsylvania’s General Assistance program that were excluded from calculating the best price for which reimbursements were eligible under Medicaid. The review is also focusing on prices reserved for Public Health Service covered entities to customers that weren’t qualified to receive the PHS price.

The potential errors made between 2002 and 2007 may require the company to restate earnings for the six-year period.

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PHARMACY

Boom in pharmacy openings leads to shortage of pharmacists

BY Drew Buono

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and ST. LOUIS, Ill. Pharmacies are booming in business and as a result new stores are being built at a rapid pace, so much so that there aren’t enough pharmacists to fill the new job openings, according to published reports.

According to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, there were 3,600 full-time openings for pharmacists throughout the nation last year reported by 37,000 member stores.

The reasons for the shortage, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association, are changes in insurance policies and federal regulations, which have made drugs more available to people. Also, the number of prescriptions being dispensed has grown from 2 billion to 3.2 billion in the last decade.

In Illinois, the state is trying to solve the shortage by opening more pharmacy schools. “I think a lot of new schools coming on board here will help alleviate the problem,” Phil Medon, dean of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy, said. “We haven’t had any graduates, yet, but long-term expansion at existing schools—plus new schools—are designed to help alleviate the shortage.”

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PHARMACY

MTBC receives Microsoft partner honor

BY Drew Buono

SOMERSET, N.J. MTBC, an information technology company has received the distinguished Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program. The company focuses on revenue cycle management and electronic medical record solutions.

As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, MTBC has demonstrated expertise with Microsoft technologies and platforms. MTBC’s IT staff has successfully completed a series of examinations demonstrating the company’s competency and aptitude in utilizing and delivering Microsoft’s advanced technologies. MTBC gains access to a rich set of tools designed to help its physician clients realize improved billing and practice management solutions.

“We are very pleased to have attained Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status,” said David Rosenblum, president of MTBC. “Our Microsoft gold certification further distinguishes us from our competition. It will assist us as continue to leverage technology and deliver Internet-based revenue cycle and practice management services that enable medical providers to streamline and increase collections, while reducing associated costs.”

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