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NACDS to House committee: More focus on patients, less on paperwork

BY DSN STAFF

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In a statement submitted to the House of Representatives Small Business Committee, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores further emphasized its support of legislation to repeal the 1099 business tax form reporting requirements. NACDS indicated that such requirements would force pharmacies to spend inordinate amounts of time and human resources on additional paperwork, leading to less time alloted to helping patients with their healthcare needs.

"While NACDS shares the concerns of the broader business community about the additional administrative burdens and costs associated with the 1099 reporting requirement, chain pharmacies, as healthcare providers, are also deeply concerned the mandate could hinder the delivery of patient care," NACDS said in its statement. "The 1099 mandate is a prime example of an administrative mandate that will interfere with pharmacies’ ability to furnish convenient and cost-effective health care."

The 1099 business tax form reporting requirements were enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In addition to submitting the statement, NACDS applauded the panel for convening a hearing to address the problematic issue for businesses, including pharmacy.

The provision would require businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service on a 1099 form total payments in excess of $600 in one year to an individual vendor. According to NACDS, this dramatically would increase data collection and reporting requirements, putting a tremendous and costly administrative burden on accounting departments in every organization in America, including neighborhood pharmacies.

"Pharmacies are the face of neighborhood health care and are a highly trusted source of healthcare information, products and services," the letter continued. "The 1099 reporting requirements will force pharmacies, ­ whether large national companies or small local drug store chains, ­ to spend inordinate amounts of time and human resources on additional paperwork. This will take away from the time that pharmacies and pharmacists have to help patients address their medication and other healthcare needs."

Last week, the NACDS endorsed an amendment introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., which would lift burdensome reporting requirements affiliated with the 1099 business tax form, which could have limited pharmacist-patient interaction and patient care. The amendment passed in the Senate.

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Aisle7 establishes online decision support tools

BY Michael Johnsen

PORTLAND, Ore. — Aisle7 on Thursday announced the availability of an online decision support engine to provide science-based, self-care product recommendations by way of questionnaires, interactive widgets and proprietary content-targeting technology.

The new Aisle7 online decision support tools include a “Homeopathic Medicine Finder,” which was created in partnership with Boiron, and will be featured across more than 2,000 in-store retail locations and 150 websites served by Aisle7.

"Every year, more health-and-wellness products are introduced to the market, making it ever more confusing for consumers to make the best choices," stated Schuyler Lininger, Aisle7 CEO. "Decision support tools remove the guesswork by connecting the dots between health goals and helpful product categories."

The interactive website tools include:

  • Vitamin Advisor: A two-page questionnaire that provides personalized supplement recommendations with optional commerce integration. Initial integrations demonstrate a 70% completion rate with a 20% add-to-cart conversion;

  • Supplement Finder: A widget that provides answers to common questions on the supplements to take for health conditions, with drugs or wellness goals; and

  • Homeopathic Medicine Finder: A tool that allows consumers to filter through more than 350 health conditions and symptoms to find the right homeopathic product.

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Study: Patients need wake-up call about link between kidney disease, diabetes

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — A multicultural study that will appear in the March issue of the Journal of Renal Care underscored the relationship between kidney disease and diabetes, and the need for greater awareness of this link.

In this small study, 23 South Asian diabetes patients and 25 white diabetes patients between the ages of 34 years and 79 years — with an average age of just older than 70 years — were surveyed to note any differences in the experiences, knowledge and attitudes of the two groups.

The researchers, led by Gurch Randhawa, director of the Institute for Health Research at the University of Bedfordshire, and research fellow Emma Wilkinson, found that many of the patients studied were unaware of possible kidney problems before their referral to specialist services. Overall, patients felt that they had received limited information about possible complications when they were diagnosed with diabetes, the researchers noted.

"Our research shows that low awareness and lack of information about kidney problems are common in both the South Asian and white patients we spoke to," Randhawa said. "In some cases, this was exacerbated by language barriers. The findings also demonstrate that the long-term educational needs of patients who have had diabetes for many years are just as important as the need to make newly diagnosed patients aware of all the health risks they face."

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