PHARMACY

Report: Market for electronic health records to reach $17 billion by 2017

BY Michael Johnsen

LONDON — The market for electronic health and medical records is set to experience rapid growth over the coming years, with EMR peer group value estimated to climb from approximately $10.6 billion in 2012 to $17 billion by 2017, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

The company’s new report estimates that McKesson had the largest Healthcare Information Technology Software and Services revenue in 2012, with $3.3 billion, placing it as the EMR market leader. McKesson is followed by Cerner and Allscripts, which achieved revenues of $2.7 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

According to GlobalData, this rapid EMR market growth is due to incentives offered under the American Relief and Recovery Act of 2009, which delivers opportunities for providers to transform unstructured, paper-based data into electronic digitized information that can be shared across the entire care industry.

“Physicians are selecting and implementing EMRs that meet federal requirements for meaningful use, and which also fit their practices and provide opportunities to enhance productivity, capture profits and improve clinical outcomes," stated Adam Dion, GlobalData’s analyst covering industry dynamics. “With the ever-changing world of healthcare regulations and reimbursement schedules, hospitals and health systems need solutions with the flexibility to handle diverse billing needs.”

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CVS recognized for its new Specialty Connect program by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute

BY Michael Johnsen

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark was awarded the 2014 Rx Benefit Innovation Award by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute on Tuesday, the company reported. The award recognizes the company’s new Specialty Connect program, which was developed by CVS Caremark to improve access, quality of care and convenience for specialty pharmacy patients.

While one-third of patients currently attempt to fill their specialty prescriptions at a local retail pharmacy because of the convenience and familiarity the location offers, 15% to 25% are turned away without the medication or direction on where to go for help, resulting in delayed or abandoned treatment. This is because today most retail pharmacies do not have access to the broad range of specialty drugs and are not trained or equipped to provide the necessary services. 

The Specialty Connect program leverages CVS Caremark’s retail and specialty pharmacy resources to help patients access their medications locally while still receiving dedicated clinical management services from experts in each therapeutic area. Through this program, CVS/pharmacy locations can accept specialty prescriptions, and patients have the choice of in-store pickup or delivery to their home or office. CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy CareTeam pharmacists and nurse practitioners provide ongoing clinical support and counseling by phone. In addition, value-added retail pharmacy services (e.g., text message prescription reminders, prescription status information and online prescription refill tools) are available to help patients stay on therapy and manage their condition.

"This program illustrates how the assets of the full CVS Caremark enterprise can transform how patients with specialty conditions access their medications and receive important clinical management services," stated Jon Roberts, president of CVS Caremark’s pharmacy benefit management business. "For CVS Caremark, this award recognizes our innovative approach to helping people on their path to better health, providing the greatest degree of convenience and access while maintaining the highest levels of clinical care."

CVS Caremark piloted Specialty Connect in the Philadelphia market in late 2012 through 2013. The results demonstrate the importance of integrating the retail pharmacy access that patients want; approximately half of patients chose to pick up their prescription at their local CVS/pharmacy store with the centralized clinical support they need to manage their condition.

"The pilot results showed medication adherence rates in patients accessing specialty through retail pharmacy that match the gold standard set by CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy. This level of performance was previously unmatched in the retail pharmacy setting, validating the impact of the Specialty Connect approach on both quality and convenience," said Alan Lotvin, EVP and head of CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy.

The Specialty Connect program will roll out nationally to all CVS/pharmacy stores by July 2014.

 

 

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Students gear up for Medication Adherence Team Challenge

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — February marks the launch of the third annual Medication Adherence Team Challenge, a month-long, intercollegiate competition among health profession student teams and faculty. The competition is coordinated by the National Consumers League, the lead organization on the national Script Your Future campaign.  

The Challenge is intended to help create solutions to raise awareness about medication adherence as a critical public health issue. This year, it will be sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation, the American Medical Association, the National Community Pharmacists Association, American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the American Pharmacists Association.

“This year’s Student Challenge is strengthened by the involvement of a diverse group of sponsors from multiple sectors of the healthcare system. One of the best hopes we have to improve America’s culture of nonadherence is to train the next generation of healthcare professionals to be proactive about engaging their patients, and that starts in the classroom through the innovation brought forward by health professions faculty,” Sally Greenberg, NCL executive director, said.

At the end of the Challenge, select schools or colleges will be nationally recognized for their efforts.

"Everyone wins when patients take their medication as prescribed to achieve optimal health outcomes," AMA president Ardis Dee Hoven, M.D., said. "As a sponsor of the challenge, the AMA is pleased to work with other healthcare professionals to improve the health of our patients and avoid unnecessary health problems."  

Over the past two Challenges, more than 3,000 future healthcare professionals counseled more than 18,000 patients and reached more than 3 million consumers in their efforts. Last year’s award recipients included: St. Louis College of Pharmacy, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Touro University College of Pharmacy California and the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy.

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