GOP makes bid to replace ACA

WASHINGTON — Three Republican lawmakers have proposed an alternative to the Affordable Care Act that would stop the expansion of Medicaid and reduce subsidies for middle-income people to buy ­insurance. The plan would give states more power to list “essential health benefits” of insurance. Coverage for maternity care would no longer be mandated. The proposal was

Discount Drug Mart founder dies

MEDINA, Ohio — Parviz Boodjeh, the founder of Discount Drug Mart, died last month. He was 87. Boodjeh opened his first store in 1969 in Elyria, Ohio. The unit was a forerunner of the chain’s current stores, which carry an extensive selection of general merchandise and consumables. Boodjeh was a pharmacist, and until a decade ago,

Obama cites CVS as a leader in State of Union speech

Obama cites CVS as a leader in State of Union speech

WASHINGTON — Larry Merlo basked in the glow of a tribute to CVS Health from President Obama during the State of the Union address last month. Attending the speech at the invitation of first lady Michelle Obama, the CVS chief executive officer was shown on national television after the president said, “Tonight, I’m also asking more

Rx chains help keep ACA focused on consumers

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Highlighting the Obama administration’s partnerships with drug chains to boost health plan enrollment, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell last month toured a CVS/pharmacy store here. Burwell’s visit also was intended to urge people to sign up for health insurance by the February 15 deadline in the current open enrollment period

Fred’s appoints Bloom president and COO

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Former CVS and Family Dollar Stores Inc. executive Mike Bloom has become president and chief operating officer of small-box discounter Fred’s Inc. “Our board of directors views this senior management addition as an important step in the process of developing the Fred’s team of the future,” said company chairman Michael Hayes. “The hiring

Tavenner steps down as CMS administrator

WASHINGTON — Marilyn Tavenner is resigning as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ­Services. She will step down at the end of this month, she told CMS staff members in an e-mail. Principal deputy administrator Andrew Slavitt, who joined the agency last year to help fix, will be the acting administrator. Department of

Bartell Drugs goes outside the family for new president

SEATTLE — Brian Unmacht has been named president of Bartell Drugs, becoming the first person outside the Bartell family to hold the title at the 125-year-old chain. nmacht, 54, former executive vice president and chief operating officer at retailer REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.) has served as a member of Bartell’s board of directors since 2011. The

ACA enrollment off to a good start

WASHINGTON — Nearly 6.5 million consumers selected a health insurance plan or were automatically reenrolled under the Affordable Care Act in November and December. And 87% of people who selected 2015 plans through in the first month of open enrollment are getting subsidies to lower premiums, the government reported. “We’re pleased that nationwide, millions of

Drug chains end year with a bang

NEW YORK — A stellar December capped a strong year for chain drug retailers. Industry sales for chain drug stores advanced 5.8% in 2014, with same-store dollar volume climbing 4.6%. Both numbers were up by more than a full point from 2013, when total volume advanced 4.4% and comparable-store sales rose 3.1%. Walgreen Co. shined performs better the second time around

WASHINGTON — A late surge lifted the number of people enrolling for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to nearly 2.5 million since mid-November. More than 1 million signed up in the last week of open enrollment before the December 15 deadline for full-year coverage in 2015. The enrollment figure, which excluded the final

CMS report challenges preferred pharmacy access

WASHINGTON — Preferred pharmacies for Medicare Part D drug plans are more accessible in suburbs and rural areas than in cities, a study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has found. “While we appreciate the importance of providing lower costs to beneficiaries, these findings reinforce CMS’ concern that plans are offering access

McMullen becomes Kroger chairman

CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. chief executive officer Rodney McMullen assumed the additional title of chairman, succeeding David Dillon, on ­January 1. McMullen and Dillon are credited with developing a long-term price investment strategy as part of the chain’s Customer 1st initiative that has enabled Kroger to deliver sustainable business growth and shareholder returns, while saving

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