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CVS Caremark study finds need for improvements in healthcare access, costs

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK CVS Caremark’s 2009 “Health IQ” study is yet another indicator coming from the private sector that health reform cannot wait.

 

The findings come on the heels of another sign: PhRMA’s resurrection of the Harry and Louise characters, the middle class couple who helped to defeat the Clinton healthcare reform proposal, in a new multi-million dollar ad campaign developed in collaboration with Families USA, the national organization for healthcare consumers. This time, however, Harry and Louise are in support of healthcare reform.

 

 

The reality is that the more the private sector leads the way on this, the more likely that reform will work for them, as well as the rest of America.

 

 

For instance, CVS’ MinuteClinic could play a major role in closing the gap on patient access. In addition, CVS’ Proactive Pharmacy Care program, as well as its new ReadyFill program, could help improve medication adherence ‹ another major problem in the U.S. healthcare system. Proactive Pharmacy Care is focused on helping consumers understand the benefits of taking their medication consistently and helps them understand ways to reduce costs. It is estimated that non-adherence costs the United States $177 billion a year.

 

 

The bottom line is that there is a sense that if it and other key stakeholders step up now and communicate how they can be a part of the solution — and the value in that — they just might be in the end. It’s the difference between driving health reform and getting run over by health reform. Either way, you get a sense that the key stakeholders know the train is rolling and they would rather drive the engine then lay on the tracks.

 

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Investment group says Spartan’s board election process should change

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A supermarket operating company’s practice for electing members of its board of directors needs to change, an investment group said at the company’s annual meeting and in an accompanying letter.

CtW Investment Group called on the board of Spartan Stores to elect members of its board every year, while also expressing concern over auditor independence and executive pay, urging Spartan’s board to “declassify” the board in time for next year’s shareholder meeting.

“The annual election of directors is a predicate for accountability to Spartan shareholders,” CtW executive director Bill Patterson said at the company’s annual meeting.

Under its current election system, Spartan has a “classified” or “staggered” board, whereby board members are elected for different periods of time depending on their position.

“Classified boards such as Spartan’s are an outdated governance practice that serves to protect entrenched boards and prevent shareholders from holding accountable the directors charged with safe-guarding their investments in the company,” Patterson wrote.

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Former Walmart executive named partner, chief merchandising officer at Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions

BY Michael Johnsen

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Chuck Fehlig was named a partner and chief merchandising officer of Blue Ocean Innovative Solutions, the company announced earlier this month.

Fehlig comes to Blue Ocean by way of Walmart, where he was VP and divisional merchandise manager of OTC merchandise. In 2003, Fehlig was named VP/DMM of the year in Walmart and in 2009 he was honored with the “Outstanding Leadership Award” from the Wal-Mart Health and Wellness Division of Wal-Mart Stores.

Fehlig first joined Walmart as a staff pharmacist and has held several positions in pharmacy operations for the first 18 years of his 27-year career with the mass merchant, including director of professional affairs and divisional operations manager overseeing the operations of more than 850 pharmacies and 10,000 employees.

Fehlig holds a degree in pharmacy from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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