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CVS Caremark develops Prior Authorization pilot program

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK CVS Caremark’s pilot program with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is yet another major step forward for e-prescribing, as it enables a new level of efficiency in the physician-pharmacy interaction.

What has, in the past, been a cumbersome process of paper forms, faxes and phone calls now will be an easier and more integrated process for e-prescribers in this program with the use of CVS Caremark’s iScribe Web portal. In fact, CVS Caremark cited a study’s findings that indicate clinicians and their office staff spend an average of 4.6 hours a week fulfilling requirements of the prior authorization process.

As the article states, this pilot program, which uses functionality built by Surescripts, is among the first in the nation to target widespread use of an ePA product in order to understand the true impact on the prescribing process.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Surescripts recently announced that more than 100,000 physicians have jumped aboard the e-prescribing. By the end of 2008, there were 74,000 doctors actively prescribing electronically, compared with 36,000 at the end of 2007. This means that physician adoption has increased more than 100% between 2008 and 2007.

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CVS Caremark Charitable Trust awards $4.2 million in grants benefiting children with disabilities, uninsured

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has announced that $4.2 million in grants have been awarded to organizations supporting children with disabilities and those who are under-insured or uninsured.

“In today’s economic climate, it’s more important than ever to support organizations that can have a positive impact on children with disabilities and their families,” stated Eileen Howard Dunn, VP of CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, “The CVS Caremark Charitable Trust selected these grant recipients because they align with our mission to promote inclusion, increase access to medical therapies and improve academic performance of children with disabilities.”

Ninety-two organizations from around the country have received the grants awarded through the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and the CVS Caremark All Kids Can program.

For the past three years, trust grants have centered on children with disabilities aligning with the company’s All Kids Can program. The All Kids Can program is a five-year, $25 million pledge to support children with disabilities by raising awareness in schools and in local communities about the importance of inclusion, creating greater opportunities for physical activity and play, and providing access to medical rehabilitation and related services.

Among the organizations to receive grants from CVS Caremark are nonprofits that support children with autism, such as The Autism Clinic of Texas in San Antonio; programs that offer early intervention such as Bay Cove Human Services in Boston; transitional care for children in the NICU at Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island; and nonprofits that offer sports and physical activity programs for children with disability, including Junior Blind of America of Los Angeles.

Grant recipients also include existing All Kids Can partners Boundless Playgrounds, Easter Seals, and VSA Arts, as well as a newly-funded group of organizations that provide healthcare services to uninsured or under-insured individuals.

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Rite Aid reports monthly financial results

BY Michael Johnsen

CAMP HILL, Pa. Rite Aid Corporation on Thursday posted a 1.8% same-store sales increase for the four weeks ended April 25. April front-end same-store sales increased 3.2%, while pharmacy same-store sales, which included an approximate 453 basis points negative impact from new generic introductions, increased 1.2%.

April and March front-end sales were impacted by a later Easter this year (April 12 this year versus March 23 last year). Same-store front-end sales for the combined March and April sales period decreased 1.6%.

For the period, same-store sales excluding the acquired Brooks Eckerd stores increased 2.7% and pharmacy same-store sales increased 2.6%.

The acquired Brooks Eckerd stores were flat, compared with the prior-year period, with front-end same-store sales increasing 4.4% and pharmacy same-store sales decreasing 1.4%.

Total drug store sales for the four-week period were flat with sales of $2 billion. Prescription revenue accounted for 67.8% of drug store sales, and third party prescription revenue represented 96.3% of pharmacy sales.

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