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Lawsuit challenges Calif. Medicaid reimbursement cuts

BY Alaric DeArment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Reimbursement cuts to California’s state Medicaid program are the subject of a lawsuit filed last week in San Francisco.

The Professional Pharmacy Alliance and the California Korean American Pharmacists Association filed suit against the California Department of Health Care Services in San Francisco Superior Court over an across-the-board 10% cut in 2011 to the reimbursement rates for most providers under the program, known as Medi-Cal.

"We are pleased to see that other pharmacy organizations are as concerned as we are about the patients who will ultimately be denied access to their medications," California Pharmacists Association CEO Jon Roth said; the CPhA is among organizations supporting the lawsuit. "We have attempted to work with the state for several years to bring long-term solutions to these issues without disrupting the provider network, but DHCS has stayed the course toward implementing these devastating cuts on Jan. 9, 2014. Unfortunately, it appears that the only thing DHCS responds to these days is a lawsuit."

According to the lawsuit, the cuts violate state laws and would result in many rural and minority patients being denied access to medications. The CPhA raised similar concerns earlier this year with the DHCS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, citing in letters multiple examples of the DHCS admitting to the CMS that the cuts would violate federal Medicaid access-to-care laws.

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Jewel-Osco commemorates grand re-opening of 18 stores with donations

BY Antoinette Alexander

ITASCA, Ill. — Jewel-Osco, which is owned by New Albertsons, has completed 18 remodeled stores, which feature an expanded variety of the fresh produce, meat and seafood.  


“Jewel-Osco is committed to delivering a shopping experience that exceeds the expectations of all local customers,” stated Jewel-Osco, president William Emmons.  “These redesigned stores bring a reinvigorated look to our customers, while offering a fresh, new feel to their shopping experience. Jewel-Osco has invested millions of dollars in these stores to show our customers that Jewel-Osco is the number one grocery retailer in the Chicagoland area. Not only have we invested in the store itself, the remodels have also created hundreds of jobs within these stores. We look forward to continuing to provide our neighbors with fresh, quality products and outstanding service they expect from Jewel-Osco.”

To commemorate the occasion, Jewel-Osco will make donations to two local organizations at each store. The company will recognize local schools, food pantries, and other non-for profit organizations with $1,000 donations, respectively.





Virtually every department received fresh updates in the remodels. Equipped with new self-service salad bars, the produce departments are destinations in and of themselves, with a variety of changes including new juice bars, expanded cut fruit sections and freshly made guacamole. The bakery departments are now equipped with new cases that offer several types of fruit tarts, truffles, Eli’s cheesecakes, fudge fantasy brownies and a wide variety of other confectionary treats. With expanded prepared hot and cold food sections, the delis are equipped with carving stations and offer Dietz and Watson sandwiches and wraps made fresh every day. The refreshed meat and seafood departments include hand trimmed as well as natural and antibiotic-free chicken, fresh seafood that can be seasoned and steamed without an additional cost and a live lobster tanks.



The grand re-openings are just the beginning of what’s to come for the company. Jewel-Osco is still underway with remodels in stores across the Chicagoland area and will be transitioning their newly acquired Dominick’s locations in mid-January, the company stated.

 

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Safeway names new Eastern Division president

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Tuesday evening announced the appointment of Brian Baer to president of the company’s Eastern Division.

"Brian’s proven management skills and experience will serve our customer base well in the Eastern Division," stated Kelly Griffith, Safeway EVP retail operations.

Baer joined Safeway in 2001 as VP Finance for the company’s Phoenix division. In 2004, he became group VP of finance planning and analysis at the Safeway’s corporate headquarters. He joined the Dominick’s division as CFO in 2008, and was promoted to president of that division in 2011. 

Prior to joining Safeway, Baer spent more than 12 years with Marriott Corp. serving in various financial management positions in operations, corporate finance and real estate development.

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