HEALTH

NCPP: Preventative health services can save lives, money

BY Michael Johnsen

MINNEAPOLIS Preventative health services, such as daily aspirin use, tobacco-cessation screening and alcohol-abuse screening potentially can save 2 million lives and nearly $4 billion annually, according to a new paper produced by the National Commission on Prevention Priorities.

 

The paper, “Greater Use Of Preventative Services In U.S. Health Care Could Save Lives At Little Or No Cost,” was published in the September issue of Health Affairs. Its authors analyzed the estimated cost of adopting a package of 20 proven preventative services against the savings that could be generated. They also estimated how much in healthcare costs would have been saved in a given year if 90% of the population had used those services. For 2006, the year selected, the savings were estimated at $3.7 billion.

 

 

“By quantifying the many lives saved and high cost-effectiveness of clinical preventative services, our study shows that prevention has really gone the extra mile, meeting a standard rarely met by health treatments,” stated Robert Gould, president and CEO for the Partnership for Prevention, the organization that established the NCPP. “The new healthcare law appropriately makes these services available for most Americans at lower or no cost, but cost reductions alone won’t get us there. We now need health purchasers, insurers and providers to make every effort to improve their delivery and educate the public about these life-saving preventative services.”

 

 

Most of the savings came from three services: tobacco-cessation screening and assistance, discussing daily aspirin use, and alcohol screening with brief counseling. The authors determined that those three services plus colorectal cancer screening each would have contributed more than 100,000 years of life if 90% of the population had participated.

 

 

“People talk about the importance of prevention, and this study shows that a significant number of recommended clinical preventative services saves lives and sometimes saves money,” said Eduardo Sanchez, chair of NCPP.

 

 

The full paper is available on the Partnership for Prevention website, Prevent.org.

 

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NACDS, NCPA in joint statement praise CMS’ move to withdraw provisions of AMP rule currently blocked by injunction

BY Drug Store News Team

ALEXANDRIA, Va. National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson and National Community Pharmacists Association acting EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement praising the proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that would withdraw existing provisions of the Medicaid pharmacy reimbursement formula under the average manufacturer price model.

"We are pleased that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would withdraw provisions of what is known as the Medicaid average manufacturer price rule. The proposed rule calls for the withdrawal of existing provisions that define AMP, that determine the calculation of federal upper limits, and that define ‘multiple source drug.’ Put simply, all of these provisions relate to the reimbursement to pharmacies for generic Medicaid prescriptions, and thus impact patients’ access to pharmacies. The move to withdraw these provisions is a victory for patient care as it is delivered in America’s pharmacies every day."

"When we filed the lawsuit in 2007 we knew that patient care was at stake. It is important to point out that the withdrawal of these provisions is another step toward reducing what would have been major cuts to pharmacy reimbursement. The end result is not an increase in reimbursement to pharmacy, but rather the lessening of cuts that previously would have involved pharmacies selling most generic drugs at a loss, thereby threatening their long-term ability to provide patient care."

 

“We insisted that this policy was not appropriate. Separately, we also have urged that policy-makers should recognize the ability of pharmacies and pharmacists to help improve health and reduce healthcare costs. We are gratified that this sense is reflected in the pharmacy provisions of the new healthcare-reform law. The new law contains provisions ranging from dramatically reducing the AMP cuts to advancing medication therapy management, through which pharmacists can help patients take their medications correctly. … The costs related to poor medication adherence have been estimated to reach $290 billion annually, or 13% of all healthcare expenditures. We urged that patient care should not be jeopardized, but rather that pharmacy be engaged more strategically for the good of patient health and healthcare delivery."

 

“We anticipate issuing formal comments on CMS’ proposed rule to withdraw these provisions of the AMP rule, and we will continue to work with Congress and with CMS to advocate for access to pharmacy services for patients.”

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New TempleTouch thermometer to be sold at Walgreens

BY Allison Cerra

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. Medisim-USA is rolling out the newest addition to its TempleTouch line at Walgreens stores nationwide.

The new digital TempleTouch mini thermometer now is available at Walgreens locations across the country. It delivers clinically accurate core body temperature in six seconds by gently touching the thermometer to the temple in a convenient size. The thermometer’s features include memory recall and the ability to display temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius according to the user’s preference.

The thermometer will retail at about $16, Medisim-USA said.

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