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SureScripts announces broad implementation of National Record Locator Service

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — Surescripts has announced that it will implement its National Record Locator Service with electronic health record vendors eClinicalWorks, Epic, and Greenway Health, enabling more than 480,000 providers to utilize the technology to locate and exchange patient health records stored in any healthcare location across the country.

The Surescripts National Record Locator Service is a federated query and response solution that integrates into the provider workflow through existing EHR software. The first-of-its-kind capability leverages the Surescripts nationwide network and Master Patient Index of more than 230 million patients to locate and exchange patient records and give clinicians a fast and easy way to obtain a more complete view of a patient’s health history, without relying on a patient’s recollections of their medical history.

“Today marks a major milestone in our collective effort to connect the nation’s healthcare system and enable interoperability between disparate parts of our healthcare community,” stated Tom Skelton, CEO, Surescripts. “By leveraging the assets and existing infrastructure we built for e-prescribing, we are able to quickly scale true interoperability on a national basis to save time and money, and ultimately improve the patient experience.”

The Surescripts network gives providers the ability to find a patient’s records when and where they need it most. With connections between 60,000 pharmacies, 900,000 healthcare professionals, 3,000 hospitals, and 700 EHR applications, more than 7 billion secure, electronic transactions, including prescriptions, referrals, discharges, visit summaries, immunization notifications, and radiology reports, crossed the Surescripts network in 2014.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 20% of preventable medical errors are caused by the lack of immediate access to health information, and 1-out-of-7 primary care visits is impacted by missing medical information. Interoperability is defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT as the ability of systems to exchange and use electronic health information from other systems without special effort on the part of the user. In order to realize true healthcare IT interoperability, a number of challenges must be overcome, including patient identification, record locating, document sharing, and clinical care documentation.

 

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Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare partner on health incentive program

BY Michael Johnsen

 

 
 
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare on Monday announced a partnership that will integrate the company's respective reward programs that incentivize healthier behaviors. 
 
People enrolled in UnitedHealthcare’s fully insured plans in Arizona and Illinois can soon earn Walgreens Balance Rewards points for completing certain healthy activities. Plan participants will have the opportunity to redeem points and save on merchandise at Walgreens in-store or online.
 
Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare’s collaboration will integrate Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices with UnitedHealthcare’s Reward Me to help people adopt healthy behaviors. UnitedHealthcare plan participants in Arizona and Illinois can access the program via the Reward Me tab on UnitedHealthcare’s mobile app Health4Me and earn Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty points by completing healthy activities such as daily exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, and logging sufficient sleep. 
 
“Through our Balance Rewards for healthy choices initiative, Walgreens encourages participants to adopt simple steps that can positively affect a person’s health, and collaborating with leading health plans such as UnitedHealthcare can further enhance the reach and impact of these programs,” stated Adam Pellegrini, divisional VP digital health for Walgreens.
 
Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare’s collaboration is helping to meet the growing demand for meaningful and relevant rewards that are easy to access and redeem both online and offline, and highlights how health plans and employers are using incentives to encourage healthy behaviors among their employees and plan participants. The use of corporate wellness incentives has doubled since 2009, with employees earning $594 in incentives each year on average, according to a recent study from the National Business Group on Health.
 
Walgreens Balance Rewards for healthy choices is a first-of-its-kind program that encourages simple steps, or “micro-habits,” that have the potential to lead to a healthier life. Health plans have the ability to define activities for their plan customers to earn Balance Rewards points to help health plans meet higher patient engagement, as well as HEDIS and 5 Star Medicare quality goals. 
 
UnitedHealthcare’s Reward Me, available through the Health4Me mobile app, is a health-incentive initiative that enables plan participants to keep track of their physical activity, healthy food selections and other lifestyle choices that promote better well-being, and in the process earn discounts on products and services, including up to 
50% off merchandise at a variety of national and local retailers. Health4Me is available on iPhone and Android devices to UnitedHealthcare plan participants and all consumers nationwide, to help people make more informed choices regarding their care. 
 
“We have seen that rewarding healthy behavior can help people make sustained, positive behavior change,” said Vidya Raman-Tangella, head of the Innovation Center of Excellence for UnitedHealthcare. “Our collaboration with Walgreens will play an important role in encouraging consumers to take a more active role in their overall health and well-being, and realizing the promise of a truly activated, engaged and supported consumer.”
 

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H.D. Smith names head of category leadership team

BY Antoinette Alexander

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Wholesaler distributor H. D. Smith promoted Dmitrey Kuznetsov to SVP, category management, the company has announced.



In this role, he is responsible for implementing company strategy to build mutually profitable relationships with H. D. Smith’s suppliers, through strong relationships, in coordination with the company’s sales, marketing and purchasing departments. Kuznetsov drives the development and implementation of programs, services and other business solutions to meet the company’s gross margin and profit objectives.



Most recently in the role of VP, generic pharmaceuticals, Kuznetsov worked to enhance H. D. Smith’s generic pharmaceutical offerings. In addition to generic sourcing, he was responsible for the commercialization of generics. He developed programs and pricing initiatives to optimize generics for H. D. Smith’s customers.



Kuznetsov joined H. D. Smith in 2012 as VP, generic pharmaceuticals sourcing, and was responsible for the development, implementation and management of the generic pharmaceuticals sourcing strategy. He led the team in establishing key strategic relationships with trading partners that resulted in H. D. Smith’s competitive generics portfolio. In addition, his team negotiated improved terms and conditions with top trading partners.



“Dmitrey brings extensive leadership to this position, and his fresh outlook on our manufacturer partnerships will steer the company toward prosperous endeavors,” stated Chris Smith, president and CEO, H. D. Smith. “He is also very skilled at hiring and developing talented teams.”

 

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