Little Clinic to accept CIGNA insurance
BLOOMFIELD, Conn. CIGNA announced this week that it added Little Clinic to its network, offering increased access to convenient care to members in Kentucky, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Arizona and Tennessee.
The Little Clinic health care centers, located in select Kroger and Publix stores, are staffed by advanced nurse practitioners, who can write prescriptions, provide diagnosis and treatment of common ailments and minor injuries, and offer physicals, screenings and vaccinations to patients 12 months or older. Most visits are completed in less than a half hour.
“From the parent running from activity to activity to the working adult who has to cram a visit for minor illness care into a lunch hour, retail clinics offer the convenience and quality our members want,” said Dick Salmon, CIGNA medical officer. “The Little Clinic is an affordable and efficient option for members with a minor illness.”
The Little Clinic claims are processed at the same benefit level as a primary care physician office visit, CIGNA reported. “Many of our patients are CIGNA members,” said Tunde Sotunde, Little Clinic’s chief medical officer. “We’re pleased that we can now offer them access to our affordable, convenient, quality care under their health plans.”
The companies stress that the retail clinics should not replace the primary care physician. The Little Clinic encourages all patients to have a health care provider they see routinely for ongoing medical needs and routine exams. If patients do not have such a provider, Little Clinic practitioners can refer them to a local physician accepting CIGNA members. The primary care physician can then have access to information about a patient’s care at any Little Clinic locations.
CIGNA HealthCare has already incorporated other retail clinics into its network, including MinuteClinic, RediClinic, Take Care Health Systems and CIGNA Medical Group’s CMG CareToday clinics—added over the past two years. “The addition of The Little Clinic,” the company stated, “underscores its commitment to expanding a broad suite of consumer-focused products and services designed to help members achieve their personal health goals.”
Boom in pharmacy openings leads to shortage of pharmacists
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.”
MTBC receives Microsoft partner honor
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.”