Veterans

September 7, 2012

Tricare won’t return Walgreen to pharmacy network

The military health insurance plan Tricare says Walgreen’s drugstore chain, the largest in the U.S., will not be part of the network where plan members can get their prescriptions filled.

Tricare did not give a reason for its decision, which was posted in an announcement on its website. It said its network currently includes more than 57,000 pharmacies. Tricare members can have prescriptions filled at Walgreen stores, but because it won’t be part of the network, their out-of-pocket costs will be greater and they will need to pay for the full prescription upfront and then submit a claim to Tricare for partial reimbursement.

Tricare provides health insurance for active and retired military members and their families. Walgreen has said Tricare has about 6 million members.

Tricare’s prescriptions are managed by Express Scripts Holding Co., the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the United States. When a contract between Walgreen and Express Scripts expired Dec. 31, Walgreen stopped filling prescriptions for Tricare members and most of Express Scripts’ other clients. The companies spent more than a year publicly arguing about the rates Express Scripts pays to drugstores like Walgreen and other issues.

Walgreen and Express Scripts reached a new deal in July and Walgreen will rejoin the Express Scripts network Sept. 15. That gives Express Scripts clients the choice of whether to add Walgreen back into their networks.

Walgreen is based in Deerfield, Ill., and it had 7,929 stores as of Aug. 31.

Tricare is one of Express Scripts’ biggest clients, so its choice to go with a smaller pharmacy network is good news for Express Scripts, said Jefferies & Co. analyst Brian Tanquilut. Tanquilut said the decision is a “strong validation” for Express Scripts’ plan to try to convince its members to pick smaller, cheaper pharmacy networks. While larger pharmacy networks give plan members more options, the provider of the health plan can save money by offering a narrow network that only includes the stores that will fill prescriptions for the lowest prices.

Tanquilut rates Express Scripts shares “Buy.” The stock rose 97 cents to $63.82 morning trading.

Jefferies analyst Scott Mushkin said Walgreen filled about 16 million prescriptions for Tricare members every year. That’s a significant chunk of the 90 million prescriptions it filled for Express Scripts on a yearly basis. Mushkin said Tricare’s decision shows that Walgreen won’t get back all the prescriptions it lost.

“The situation with Tricare may not be isolated and we are unsure at this juncture just how many of Express Scripts’ clients, outside of WellPoint, participated in savings from Walgreens leaving and will have to make the decision whether to `opt-in’ to the network at a higher cost,” he wrote.

WellPoint Inc. is a health insurer, and it has agreed to add Walgreen back to its pharmacy networks.

Walgreen also reported its August sales on Thursday. Its total sales and sales at stores open at least a year dropped compared with last year because of the dispute with Express Scripts. AP




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 30, 2014

News: Software to power F-35 running as much as 14 months late¬†- Software needed to operate Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s costliest weapons system, may be as much as 14 months late for required flight testing, according to a Pentagon review.   Business: Lockheed will turn on JLTV production line In August; 6-D truck...
 
 

News Briefs July 30, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,197 As of July 29, 2014, at least 2,197 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,819 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds

F-35B successfully completes wet runway, crosswind testing

Lockheed Martin photograph by Tom Reynolds F-35B aircraft BF-4, piloted by Lockheed Martin Test Pilot Dan Levin, starts down the runway as part of wet runway and crosswind testing at Edwards AFB, Calif. In an important program ...
 

 
boeing-chinook

Boeing delivers first U.S. Army multiyear II configured Chinook

Boeing July 29 delivered the first multiyear II configured CH-47F Chinook helicopter to the U.S. Army one month ahead of schedule. The delivery was celebrated in a ceremony at the production facility in Ridley Township, Penn. ‚...
 
 
Army photograph by SSgt. Angela Stafford

Engineers developing safer, more accurate tracer round

Army photograph Tracer rounds enable the shooter to follow the projectile trajectory to make aiming corrections. However, the light emitted by these rounds also gives away the position of the shooter. Engineers at Picatinny Ars...
 
 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>