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Medicare awards doctors for moving to e-prescribing

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK This month, Medicare began giving doctors extra money for moving from paper prescribing to e-prescribing.

The private sector has moved to encourage doctors to adopt e-prescribing as well, including health plans and companies that make e-prescribing technology. Today, about 70,000 independent physicians prescribe over the Internet.

E-prescribing is already standard in many countries, but adoption of the practice has lagged in the United States, partially because oflaws that require paper-based prescribing of some drugs such as narcotics.

Studies have shown that e-prescribing can reduce costs and prescription errors.

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Save Mart registers now incorporating healthcare purchases

BY Michael Johnsen

MODESTO, Calif. Save Mart Supermarkets last month updated all registers in stores with pharmacies to itemize eligible healthcare purchases under flexible spending account agreements, the chain announced.

Save Mart Supermarkets operates 115 pharmacies — 64 in Save Mart stores, 47 in Lucky stores and 4 in S-Mart Foods stores.

“The new FSA debit cards are a convenient way to monitor and pay for eligible medical expenses,” stated Michele Snider, senior director of pharmacy for Save Mart Supermarkets. “Patients who have FSAs for medical expenses should take full advantage of their benefits by accessing them before they expire for this calendar year, and our pharmacies now are ready to help them beat their year-end deadlines.” 

Save Mart Supermarkets operates nearly 250 stores throughout Northern California and  Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners.

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Take Care coupons offered for popular flu season products

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOCKEN, Pa. Amid the current economic turmoil, Take Care Health Systems is promoting its quality and cost-effective healthcare service this flu season through a Winter Promotional Program that runs through the end of March.

The program, which kicked off in January, is taking place at all 327 Take Care Clinics nationwide, the company announced on Tuesday. It coincides with the height of the cold, cough and flu season. Under the program, first-time visitors are eligible to receive a $50 coupon book redeemable for select Walgreens merchandise including cold medicine, facial tissue and hand sanitizer. 

“Consumers who seek care are looking more closely for ways to reduce the overall costs of treatment,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Many of those cost-conscious consumers are sacrificing quality or a satisfying patient experience.” 

Citing a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Take Care stated that 22% of consumers said that the ailing economy was causing them to see the doctor less. In an effort to save money, about 11% said they?ve scaled back on prescription drugs or reduced the dosage of those drugs to make them last longer. 

“With an increasing number of families and individuals in America forced to make tough choices when it comes to spending, health care should not be something that suffers,” stated Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems. “Now more than ever, the care offered at Take Care Clinics is an excellent option for patients as they look to save on cost, without having to compromise the quality of their health or the care they receive.” 

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