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April 1, 2011

Today’s issue is brought to you by Drug Benefit News, biweekly news, proven cost management strategies and unique data for health plans, PBMs, pharma companies and employers.

Today's Featured Story

Suddenly a Contender, Catalyst Doubles Its Size With $525M Buy of Walgreens PBM
Reprinted from Drug Benefit News

Catalyst Health Solutions, Inc. said on March 9 it will buy Walgreens Health Initiatives, Inc., the PBM unit of Walgreen Co., for $525 million. Such a bold move by a medium-sized, “second-tier” PBM leaves little doubt that the aggressively entrepreneurial, Rockville, Md.-based Catalyst considers itself a contender of the first rank. The half-billion dollar deal also exemplifies the forces of consolidation dominating the PBM sector, while advancing the counterintuitive notion that little fish sometimes eat bigger fish .... Read Full Story


From the AIS Blogs

Playing Poker With Medicare Advantage

The Obama administration, in seeking to fend off House Republicans' efforts to de-fund implementation of the health reform law, seems to be trying what poker players might regard as calling and raising a bet. And one of the chips that's being tossed into the betting pot is Medicare Advantage, a program the administration knows is dear to House GOP members ... Read more


Quote of the Day

“A high-wire act without a net.”

— A characterization of the current debate on Capitol Hill on compromise and implementation of the health reform law, by Henry Aaron, Ph.D., a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution who was speaking at a recent America's Health Insurance Plans Forum in Washington, D.C.

Click here to read the AIS's HEALTH REFORM WEEK article in which this quote appeared. (Free for HRW subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers).


Today's Datapoint

22% to 24% … was the decrease in hospital readmissions over the past year that was realized by a risk-bearing ACO in Sacramento comprised of Blue Shield of California, CalPERS, Hill Physicians and Catholic Healthcare West.

Click here to read the ACO BUSINESS NEWS article in which this datapoint appeared. (Free for ABN subscribers; $17 for non-subscribers).


Today from Washington

People on the Move

AAIPharma Services Corp., a pharmaceutical product development and manufacturing services company, promoted Dean Shirazi to vice president of analytical development, effective April 4. Shirazi was senior director of the analytical group....iTech Medical, Inc. named Warren Baker CEO. Baker was chief operating officer at Advanced Research Technologies in Montreal.


Today's Featured Health Business Job Opening

Investigative Data Analyst
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Place Your Ad Here

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Upcoming Webinars

CMS’s New Past Performance Assessment: Steps MA and Part D Plans Must Take Now to Avoid Harsh Penalties
Thursday, April 14, 2011

Click here for details.

Setting Out-of-Network UCR Rates: Evaluating FAIR Health’s New Benchmark Data and Other Alternatives for Insurers and Employers
Thursday, April 21, 2011

Click here for details.

Medicare Advantage Marketing for 2012: Steps to Take Now to Succeed Amid Reform-Driven Changes
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Click here for details.

Payer Strategies to Manage High-Cost Specialty Drugs That Will Hit the Market Soon
Thursday, May 12, 2011

Click here for details.

AIS's Directory of Health Plans: 2011
AIS's Health Business Daily