HHS rolls out prescription drug partnership with major retailers

During a week in which the future of Medicare has dominated the presidential campaign, the Health and Human Services Department on Wednesday rolled out a new prescription drug education campaign for seniors in partnership with five national retail chains.

In a conference call with reporters, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined with an executive from CVS Caremark in Jacksonville, Fla., to announce that the chain -- along with Walgreens, Thrifty White, Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club -- will use its marketing know-how to “help people with Medicare learn more about new preventive services such as mammograms and the new annual wellness visits that are available at no charge for everyone with Medicare.”

Local pharmacies such as those at CVS’ 7,300 drugstores and 600 MinuteClinics nationwide “are the most effective messengers to seniors who don’t realize the available savings” in prescription drugs under the 2010 Affordable Care Act as well as medical procedures such as colonoscopies and flu shots without deductibles or co-payments, Sebelius said. CVS Caremark, she added, has distributed some 750,000 brochures promoting the benefits, and other pharmaceutical chains are expected to follow suit, taking advantage of communications opportunities online.

“Today under the Affordable Care Act, seniors no longer have to make that terrible choice, but can choose care based on health needs, not on what it costs,” Sebelius said, citing 1.3 million beneficiaries of wellness benefits and 5.3 million seniors who have received government help with prescription drug expenses after they’ve spent enough on medicine to enter the so-called donut hole in insurance coverage. The secretary also praised HHS for recovering a record $4 billion in fraudulent health billing in 2011, up 59 percent from the previous year.

“It’s the latest example of how the Affordable Care Act keeps America’s promise by strengthening Medicare, not gutting it,” she said. “That’s different from the plan put forward by some Republicans in Washington that would roll back all of these benefits and end Medicare as we know it.”

An HHS spokeswoman said the new retailer partnership and its Wednesday rollout were planned months before Medicare exploded as a campaign issue with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s pick of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as a running mate.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.