Affordable Care Act

HHS’ Burwell asks pharmacies to help spur ACA enrollment

SAN ANTONIO — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell stopped at an H-E-B grocery store here, where she drew attention to the December 15 enrollment deadline for consumers who wanted their health insurance plans to become active on ­January 1. Although open enrollment for 2016 health insurance plans continued through

Status quo in retail pharmacy won’t suffice

Status quo in retail pharmacy won’t suffice

In many significant ways, the chain drug store business looks very different at the start of 2016 than it did a year ago. Walgreens Boots Alliance, which emerged from a two-step merger process at the close of 2014, spent the past 12 months rationalizing operations in the United States and developing synergies with its retail

Affordable Care Act encounters new headwinds

Affordable Care Act encounters new headwinds

NEW YORK — UnitedHealth Group Inc. may pull out of Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges in 2017 after losing what it said were hundreds of millions of dollars on policies sold under the law. The company, the nation’s largest health insurer, significantly cut its 2015 profit estimates based on losses on individual policies sold

Health care spending outpaces economy

Health care spending outpaces economy

WASHINGTON — Health care spending in the United States last year exceeded $3 trillion as five years of slow growth was replaced by the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid and private health insurance coverage. Prescription drug prices accelerated as well. Health care spending grew faster than the economy in 2014, and the federal share

Health care turmoil creates opportunity for Rx

Health care turmoil creates opportunity for Rx

More than five years after enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a measure designed to extend coverage to the uninsured and control expenditures, the turmoil in the U.S. health care system shows no signs of abating. Millions of Americans are still without health coverage, and health care costs continue to increase faster than the overall

Enrollment on health exchanges to grow slowly

Enrollment on health exchanges to grow slowly

WASHINGTON — Slow growth is foreseen for health insurance enrollment through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the Obama administration said this month. Coverage by the end of 2016 will barely exceed current levels, the administration said. Sign-ups during the ACA’s upcoming open enrollment season will bring the number of covered individuals to 10 million, up

Health care partnerships are wave of the future

Health care partnerships are wave of the future

The move toward closer cooperation among providers is one of the more intriguing developments in health care, one that promises to improve patient outcomes and limit expenditures in a sector that accounts for almost 20% of the nation’s gross domestic product. The rationale behind the partnerships, and the role of community pharmacies within them, is

HHS lays groundwork for ACA enrollment

HHS lays groundwork for ACA enrollment

WASHINGTON — The government vows to conduct an extensive outreach initiative during the Affordable Care Act’s upcoming open enrollment period in an attempt to enroll millions of eligible but difficult-to-reach Americans who have yet to sign up for health insurance. “Those who are still uninsured are going to be a bigger challenge,” Department of Health

Rx makers should work to reframe pricing debate

Rx makers should work to reframe pricing debate

The 2016 presidential race is already well under way. Despite thousands of speeches, interviews and, on the Republican side, two debates, there is a lot about the candidates’ thinking that needs to be clarified. One thing, however, is certain —  health care will be a prominent issue as the process of choosing Barack Obama’s successor

Uninsured rate continues to fall

WASHINGTON — Supporters of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) hailed a recent Census Bureau report that the percentage of people without health insurance coverage declined by 2.9 percentage points last year, from 13.3% to 10.4%. That’s a reduction of 8.8 million people, the biggest one-year decline ever, and part of the reason

Health care reform process far from over

Health care reform process far from over

The major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been in effect for almost two years now, enough time to undertake an interim analysis of the controversial law’s impact on the health care system. President Obama and other advocates of the ACA, which since its enactment in March 2010 has withstood two

Total Store Expo helps retailers, suppliers make connections

Total Store Expo helps retailers, suppliers make connections

DENVER — The health and wellness landscape is changing, and retailers able to navigate it will be better positioned for success. That ability and the capacity to build networks were key points made at the 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo in Denver by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ top two leaders. “You think

Walmart, Fred’s cite Rx headwinds for profit squeeze

NEW YORK — The world’s biggest retailer and a regional discount chain have attributed pressure on profits to trends in the prescription drug business. Walmart and Memphis, Tenn.-based Fred’s Inc. said lower pharmacy margins had eaten into second quarter earnings and pointed to lower reimbursements and a drop in cash customers as a result of

With ACA in place, number of uninsured falls by a third

With ACA in place, number of uninsured falls by a third

WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of Americans without health insurance by 15.8 million, or one-third, since 2013, new government data shows. In the first quarter of this year there were 29 million uninsured people, the National Center for Health Statistics said this month. The share of the population without insurance