Affordable Care Act

Rising health care costs still a challenge

Rising health care costs still a challenge

WASHINGTON — Total U.S. health care spending growth is expected to average 5.8% in aggregate over the 2014-2024 period, according to a report published in Health Affairs and written by members of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Office of the Actuary. The authors note that this rate of growth is still substantially lower

Rx seeks a bigger role in Medicaid, Medicare

WASHINGTON ­— Medicare and Medicaid recently passed the half-century mark, and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores envisions an enhanced role for pharmacists in both programs, particularly Medicaid. Congress, too, is looking for opportunities to strengthen and sustain Medicaid. Last month the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health held a hearing titled “Med­icaid

Consolidation hits health insurance industry

NEW YORK — Chain drug retailers have gotten used to dealing with fewer, and larger, drug makers, wholesalers and pharmacy benefit managers over the years. Retailers themselves have also consolidated, and now a merger wave has washed over the health insurance industry. While acquisitions in other sectors have been driven by the pursuit of economies

Access to medications, adherence go hand in hand

Access to medications, adherence go hand in hand

If the lack of medication adherence were an easy problem to solve, then everyone would be taking their medicines as directed, there would be no need for iPhone apps or electronic pill bottle reminders, patient health outcomes would be improved, and overall health care costs would be lower because of reduced complications or ­hospitalizations. Yet

Merger wave hits health insurance sector

Merger wave hits health insurance sector

Drug chains have gotten used to dealing with fewer, and larger, drug makers, wholesalers and PBMs over the years. Retailers have also consolidated. Now a merger wave has washed over the health insurance industry. Though acquisitions in other sectors have been driven by the pursuit of economies of scale, the health insurance consolidation is seen

ACA survives Supreme Court challenge

WASHINGTON — The Affordable Care Act has survived its second Supreme Court challenge, with a divided court agreeing with the Obama administration that government subsidies that make health insurance affordable for millions of poor and middle-class Americans should be available ­nationwide. While there are more challenges to come, the organization representing the nation’s traditional drug

Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies

Supreme Court upholds health insurance subsidies

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for health insurance, giving the law its second big win in three years. The justices ruled 6-3 that the subsidies being received by 8.7 million people to make coverage affordable were not voided by the statute’s wording. Chief Justice John Roberts again

ACA generates headlines in a variety of contexts

WASHINGTON — Some 13% of people who enrolled in health insurance plans this year under the Affordable Care Act have lost coverage, many because they failed to pay their share of premiums, the Obama administration ­reported. The number of people on the rolls as of March 31 stood at 10.2 million, down from the 11.7

Industry Outlook: Drug chains to get a lift

Industry Outlook: Drug chains to get a lift

NEW YORK — Drug chains are leveraging their strengths of accessibility and convenience as they extend their core prescription drug business further into the health care realm and diversify their front-end mix. Industry observers say many of the people newly insured under the Affordable Care Act will turn to chain drug stores for their scripts

Pharmacy gets involved in HHS reimbursement project

Pharmacy gets involved in HHS reimbursement project

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a public-private initiative to foster the adoption of value-based health care models. Rite Aid, Walgreens and Walmart are among the network’s more than 2,800 participants, which include payers, providers, states, consumer groups and employers. The

Health exchanges fuel prescriptions

Health exchanges fuel prescriptions

ST. PAUL — Pharmacy benefits manager Prime Therapeutics says that its members who enrolled in public health exchanges during their first year of existence filled an average of 11.7 prescriptions, exceeding fills by commercial members by 13.6%. Public exchange members were also 2.5 times more likely to have hepatitis C or HIV, driving an almost

Chain pharmacy engaged in fixing health care

The Health Care Learning and Action Network was formally launched at the White House last month. President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell were on hand to voice their support for the project, which is intended to enlist a wide range of participants in the health care sector to help

President Obama speaks up for value-based care

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama gave remarks Wednesday at the kick-off meeting for the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a new initiative that aims to bring public and private-sector stakeholders together to build on the Affordable Care Act’s efforts to transition the U.S. health care system to models that provide the best care

Supreme Court revisits the Affordable Care Act

Supreme Court revisits the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON — The fate of the Affordable Care Act rests with the Supreme Court. The court this month heard arguments in a case that the Obama administration says could gut the law. It will decide whether some 7 million low- and middle-income people in about three-dozen states will continue to receive subsidies under the law