News and Commentary

Headlines on Deadline November 2008

Fifty-seven percent of employers with 500 or more workers are providing wellness programs to their workers. This is up from 49 percent in 2006. The number of smaller employers that offer programs has remained steady the last two years at 16 percent, according to MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study… Hawaii has dropped the only state universal child health care program in the country, just seven months after it was launched. Gov. Linda Lingle’s administration cited budget shortfalls and the availability of other health care options. An administrator at the state’s Department of Human Services said that families were dropping private health coverage so their children could be eligible for the free care. “I don’t believe that was the intent of the plan,” said Kenny Fink, MD… PharmMD is teaming up with HealthSpring to provide medication therapy management services to more than 265,000 of HealthSpring’s members. MTM attempts to prevent medication error, misuse, underuse, and abuse by ensuring that individual patients receive the most appropriate drugs possible. MTM is intended to ferret out duplicate medications and prevent harmful drug interactions. PharmMD is providing the managed care organization with information technology to help monitor pharmacy utilization records. The plan’s pharmacists will be able to better watch for potential drug interactions and for opportunities to optimize a patient’s drug regimens.

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