House Panel reviews Medicaid at 50
ARLINGTON, Va. — With the 50th anniversary of Medicaid fast approaching on July 30, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing titled “Medicaid at 50: Strengthening and Sustaining the Program” as it looks for opportunities to strengthen and sustain the Medicaid program.
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores submitted a statement for the hearing emphasizing the role pharmacy plays in providing convenient, accessible, and cost-effective health services to Medicaid beneficiaries in partnership with healthcare entities and other providers to improve health outcomes.
“As the face of neighborhood healthcare, community pharmacies and pharmacists provide access to Medicaid prescription medications and over the counter products, as well as cost-effective health services such as immunizations and disease screenings for Medicaid beneficiaries,” NACDS wrote in its statement.
NACDS cited the continued expansion of state Medicaid enrollment as a result of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, enabling pharmacists to provide much-needed healthcare services to Medicaid patients.
In the statement, NACDS stressed the importance of the release and timing of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Final Rule on Medicaid Covered Outpatient Drugs. NACDS emphasized the importance of allowing states adequate time to implement average manufacturer price-based federal upper limits and adjust corresponding dispensing fees.
“CMS must allow states adequate time to implement AMP-based FULs and adjust corresponding dispensing fees that ensure Medicaid drug reimbursement does not fall below drug acquisition cost and that Medicaid beneficiaries continue to have access to critical prescription drugs,” NACDS wrote.
NACDS addressed a proposal within the 21st Century Cures legislation that would exclude authorized generic drugs from the calculation of AMPs for brand name drugs. NACDS urged the need for clarification on this proposal and to ensure that manufacturers continue to meet the requirements and obligations to calculate and report AMPs for authorized generic drugs for rebate and pharmacy reimbursement purposes.
APhA Foundation launches new diabetes program
WASHINGTON — The American Pharmacists Association Foundation has unveiled its new Patient Self-Management Solutions aimed at reducing overall cost of care by approximately $1,000 per person with diabetes per year, improving health outcomes and increasing patient satisfaction.
Driving employee wellness is a key strategic imperative for most organizations. From increasing the number of days on the job to reducing the cost of benefits to improving employee motivation and morale, corporate wellness programs are more critical than ever to businesses, and the PSM Solutions can help address these issues, according to the APhA Foundation.
The APhA Foundation’s PSM Solutions were developed leveraging more than a decade of in-field use in the Foundation’s diabetes research in collaboration with employers, patients and providers. Based on the Foundation’s Project IMPACT: Diabetes, Diabetes Ten City Challenge, and Patient-Self Management Program for Diabetes, the PSM Solutions model includes the Patient Self-Management Credential for Diabetes, APhA Foundation’s software, a national network of pharmacist providers, and the methodology refined over the course of the Foundation’s research.
With the flexibility to add the PSMC for Diabetes to an existing program or develop an end-to-end solution, PSM Solutions are ideally suited for employers and health plans looking to address their chronic disease management needs, the Foundation stated. PSM Solutions allow providers to administer and manage knowledge, skills and performance assessments that identify patients’ individual needs and customize the care that is delivered to facilitate self-management.
“This solution enables pharmacists and other healthcare providers to gain a comprehensive understanding of their patients’ ability to manage their diabetes through the real world application of knowledge, skills and performance. Providers can then customize and effectively direct treatment in patient populations, resulting in better, more cost effective outcomes for all patients and a proven cost savings of over $1,000 per patient per year,” stated Benjamin Bluml, SVP of research and innovation for the Foundation.
PSM Solutions supply healthcare providers with targeted feedback about disease specific areas for focus and provide links to patient education resources that may be helpful to more efficiently and effectively address those needs. This ensures that the most appropriate level of care and targeted information is provided to patients based on their individual needs, resulting in increased patient satisfaction and outcomes, according to the APhA Foundation.
As a part of PSM Solutions, the APhA Foundation is bringing together a network of healthcare providers to deliver patient care services. Current network partners include Kroger, PrescribeWellness, and SinfoniaRx. In addition, Scientific Technologies Corp. has partnered with the APhA Foundation to integrate the PSMC for Diabetes into its technology platform. The Foundation’s network partners are available to provide services to beneficiaries of self-insured employers and other healthcare payers interested in providing care options that include the PSM Solutions.
“Diabetes costs American employers more than 15 million workdays every year and accounts for more than $176 billion in healthcare spending,” stated Mindy Smith, executive director of the APhA Foundation. “Our PSM Solutions are backed by years in the field, peer reviewed, and proven to improve outcomes and reduce the total cost of care.”
Cardinal Health launches inventory management app
LAS VEGAS — Cardinal Health will be launching Total Mobile Solutions with Order Express, a new suite of mobile apps for mobile ordering, receiving and inventory management, at the company’s 25th annual Retail Business Conference, held in Las Vegas from July 22 to 25.
The service streamlines daily pharmacy processes, allowing pharmacists to use personal electronic devices instead of leasing expensive hardware. The Order Express app is compatible with any smartphone or tablet, including Android and iOS operating systems, and integrates directly with the camera on the device or easily pairs with most Bluetooth scanners.
The user-friendly design features an intuitive interface, doesn’t require a WiFi connection and includes an offline catalog of more than 100,000 products.
“Every day, independent pharmacy owners are challenged to find new ways to improve their financial health and efficiency, while ensuring patient care is their top priority,” Steve Lawrence, SVP Independent Sales for Cardinal Health, said.
Order Express mobile is just one of the solutions that the conference will present for pharmacists to help them serve as “their communities’ most trusted healthcare advisers.”
RBC will provide a platform for nearly 400 software, manufacturer, automation and pharmacy vendors.
Drug Store News will be covering all the action at Cardinal Health RBC 2015 in a series of exclusive daily editions, in both print and digital formats. To keep up with all of the highlights, visit DrugStoreNews.com/Cardinal-Health-RBC or follow #RBCWin on Twitter.