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Issue 10-27-2014

NACDS weighs in on upcoming ACA enrollment process

WASHINGTON — With the next open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act set to begin on November 15, National Association of Chain Drug Stores members discussed pharmacy issues this month with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “Patients rely on their pharmacies as trusted sources of information on health care

Walmart cuts through insurance complexity

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has launched Healthcare Begins Here, an in-store program letting customers explore health insurance options. The company has partnered on the initiative with DirectHealth.com, an online health insurance comparison site. DirectHealth.com, an independent licensed health insurance agency, provides unprecedented access to insurance information, the retailer says. Recent research found that more than

Pugh steps down at Walgreens

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Bryan Pugh, who for the past year has held a key role at Walgreen Co. coordinating operations and merchandising functions, left the drug chain last week. Most recently, Pugh held the title of vice president of U.S. merchandising, program development and execution. His post had been newly created about one year ago

Drug chains help Part D patients review coverage options

NEW YORK — With the annual Medicare Part D enrollment period now under way, chain drug pharmacies and their pharmacists are offering various forms of assistance to help patients save time and money. At CVS/pharmacy, patients can receive personalized plan comparisons in-store or online to help in their search for a Medicare prescription drug plan

Analysis: ACOs rapidly taking shape

In the here and now is the Affordable Care Act, making headlines almost daily about health insurance exchanges and impacting 10 million to 15 million Americans this very moment. Also in the here and now are Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), although rarely, if ever, making any headlines. But they are becoming an establishment that will

Cardinal Health does its part in fight against Ebola

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cardinal Health Inc. recently donated more than 1 million products to AmeriCares Emergency Response Program to help contain the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The health company donated over 500,000 protective masks, nearly 100,000 gowns, 76,000 biohazard bags and 21,000 protective shoe covers for frontline health workers fighting the epidemic. “Health

Add Kmart to the list of data breach victims

NEW YORK — Sears Holdings Corp. became the latest retailer targeted by cybercriminals when it disclosed October 10 that point-of-sale registers at its Kmart stores were compromised by malicious software that stole customers’ credit and debit card accounts. The security breach is believed to have started in early September and was discovered October 9, Sears

Reed named Walgreens counsel

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. has promoted Jan Stern Reed to general counsel, a role that gives her responsibility for the company’s legal division. Reed succeeds Thomas Sabatino, who assumes the role of chief legal and administrative officer and will continue to serve as corporate secretary for Walgreens. Reed, whose promotion is effective immediately, will

Small formats loom larger at Walmart

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Faced with a tough sales environment and changes in customer shopping patterns, Walmart will trim its overall capital spending next year but continue a strong rollout of Neighborhood Market stores. The big retailer plans to open between 180 and 200 Neighborhood Markets in fiscal 2016, which begins in February. Walmart is on

Diplomat looks to bright future

FLINT, Mich. — With a successful initial public offering of roughly 15 million shares completed, Diplomat Pharmacy is preparing for its next phase of growth and expansion. A stock offering on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-October raised about $145 million for the specialty pharmacy company. “It was time for us to step up

Study: MinuteClinic delivers high level of care

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — An assessment of the quality of care that MinuteClinic retail medical clinics delivered for three common acute conditions suggests that care is the same, and in some cases better, than that delivered at emergency departments (EDs) and ambulatory care facilities, according to the CVS Health Research Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Walgreens sponsors app contest

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. is encouraging third-party developers to compete for $13,000 in prize money for creation of mobile apps that integrate the company’s Balance Rewards program API (application program interface), which allows customers to generate loyalty program points by making healthy lifestyle choices. The competition runs through November 28. Winners will be selected