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CVS Health quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce over tobacco stance

CVS Health quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce over tobacco stance | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

CVS Health Corp said it was withdrawing its membership from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after media reports that the trade group was lobbying globally against anti-smoking laws.


The No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain said it was "surprised" to read recent reports on the chamber's position on tobacco products outside the United States.


The New York Times reported last week that the chamber and its foreign affiliates were lobbying against anti-smoking laws such as restrictions on smoking in public places and bans on menthol and slim cigarettes, mainly in developing countries. 


"CVS's purpose is to help people on their path to better health, and we fundamentally believe tobacco use is in direct conflict with this purpose," CVS spokesman David Palombi said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.


The chamber, however, said that it did not support smoking and it called the report "a concerted misinformation campaign."


"... we support protecting the intellectual property and trademarks of all legal products in all industries and oppose singling out certain industries for discriminatory treatment," the trade group said in an email.


CVS was the first major U.S. drugstore chain to stop selling tobacco products last year.

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CVS Health Announces New Clinical Affiliations with Four Leading Health Care Organizations

CVS Health Announces New Clinical Affiliations with Four Leading Health Care Organizations | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today it has entered into new clinical affiliations with Sutter Health in California, Millennium Physician Group in Florida, Bryan Health Connect in Nebraska and Mount Kisco Medical Group, PC in New York. These affiliations will help enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients.

Through these clinical affiliations, CVS Health will provide prescription and visit information to the participating health care organizations by enabling communication between our secured electronic health record (EHR) systems, which will help enhance clinical care for patients served by the partnering organizations. In addition, patients will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health.

"In this era of health care reform, we are pleased to work with these health care organizations to develop collaborative programs that enhance access to patient care, improve health outcomes and lower health care costs in the communities they serve," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "By allowing our electronic health records and information systems to communicate and share important information about the patients we collectively serve, we will have a more comprehensive view of our patients, which can aid in health care decision making and help ensure patients adhere to important medications for chronic diseases."

CVS/pharmacy currently has more than 7,800 retail pharmacy locations across the U.S. where CVS pharmacists provide counseling to patients to help them be adherent to their chronic disease medications. In addition, MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in health care. There are nearly 1,000 MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics available at CVS/pharmacy retail stores. MinuteClinic locations are open seven days a week, offering evening hours with no appointment necessary and most health insurance is accepted. The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who provide treatment for common family illnesses and administer wellness and prevention services, including health-condition monitoring for patients with chronic diseases. 

Affiliates' health care providers will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation also encourages collaboration between the health care providers and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations.

Through this collaboration, the affiliate organizations and MinuteClinic practitioners will also work together on planning strategies around chronic care and wellness. If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the health care provider as appropriate. For those patients who do not have regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides information to help patients in finding a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of health care services.

MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the participating health care organizations will begin to work toward streamlining and enhancing communication through their EHR systems. This will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health care organizations' physicians regarding medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share patient visit summaries with the patient's primary care physician when they are part of an affiliate organization and with the patient's consent. MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with one of these participating health care organizations via fax or mail, with patient consent.

The new affiliations announced here bring the total number of clinical collaborations for CVS Health and MinuteClinic to nearly 60 major health systems and health care providers across the country.

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CVS to connect with health systems via Epic

CVS to connect with health systems via Epic | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

CVS Health has partnered with four health systems nationwide to provide them patient prescription and visit information, securely sharing data through its Epic electronic health record system.

CVS has entered into new clinical affiliations with Sutter Health in California, Millennium Physician Group in Florida, Bryan Health Connect in Nebraska and Mount Kisco Medical Group in New York.

Through the partnerships – which bring the number of clinical collaborations for CVS Health and MinuteClinic to nearly 60 major health systems – these organizations' patients will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, officials say.


These providers will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists, with the aim of improving patients' medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation encourages collaboration between the health systems and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations.


Affiliate organizations and MinuteClinic practitioners will also work together on planning strategies around chronic care and wellness, officials say: If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the health care provider as appropriate.


"In this era of health care reform, we are pleased to work with these health care organizations to develop collaborative programs that enhance access to patient care, improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs in the communities they serve," said CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, MD, in a press statement.

MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and participating providers will work to streamline and enhance communication through their EHRs, such as the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health care organizations' physicians regarding medication non-adherence issues. MinuteClinic will electronically share patient visit summaries with patients' primary care physician when they are part of an affiliate organization and with the patient's consent.


"By allowing our electronic health records and information systems to communicate and share important information about the patients we collectively serve, we will have a more comprehensive view of our patients, which can aid in health care decision making and help ensure patients adhere to important medications for chronic diseases," said Brennan.

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CVS to buy pharmacy services provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion

CVS to buy pharmacy services provider Omnicare for $10.1 billion | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

CVS Health Corp, the second-largest U.S. drugstore operator, said on Thursday it will buy pharmacy services provider Omnicare Inc <OCR.N> for $10.1 billion to expand in the growing market serving the senior patient population.

The number of people aged between 55 and 64, commonly called baby boomers, having two or more chronic conditions that require medication grew 39.2 percent in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest report.

Baby Boomers surpassed all other age groups as the highest-cost medication users in 2014, according to a report from Express Scripts, the largest U.S. pharmacy benefit manager.


CVS offered $98 per Omnicare share, representing a premium of 4 percent to Omnicare's closing price on Wednesday.


The offer is at a nearly 21 percent premium to Omnicare's April 21 close, the day before Bloomberg reported that the company was exploring a sale.


Shares of Omnicare, the top U.S. provider of pharmacy services to the elderly, rose 1.2 percent to $95.75 in premarket trading. CVS's stock was up 1.6 percent at $102.90 in light trading on Thursday.


The deal comes at a time when pharmacy benefit managers and pharmacy chain operators are consolidating to negotiate better prices with drugmakers.


Rite Aid Corp bought pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx for about $2 billion in February, while health insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc <UNH.N> agreed to buy Catamaran Corp <CTRX.O> <CCT.TO> for about $12.8 billion in March.


"Both (CVS and Omnicare) are big Part D players and there could be some scale benefits in negotiating with other payors," Cowen & Co analyst Charles Rhyee wrote in a note on Wednesday.


Bloomberg first reported on Wednesday that CVS was nearing a deal to buy Omnicare.


CVS said the deal will also help expand its presence in the rapidly growing specialty pharmacy business, which sells high-cost drugs to treat complex or rare conditions.


CVS said it expects the deal to add about 20 cents to adjusted earnings per share in 2016.


The deal values Omnicare at about $12.7 billion, including debt of about $2.3 billion, the companies said.


CVS said it had secured $13 billion in financing from Barclays for the deal, which is expected to close near the end of 2015.


Barclays and Evercore are CVS's financial advisers, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Centerview Partners advised Omnicare.

CVS's legal adviser is Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, while White & Case LLP served as Omnicare's legal counsel.


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