Walgreens to Withdraw 44 WA Pharmacies from Medicaid Program

On Monday, Walgreens announced that it will pull 44 of 111 WA pharmacies from the Medicaid program, while some of the remaining pharmacies will stop accepting new Medicaid patients for prescription services.
Many facilities cannot sustain the increasing costs of supplies and a drop in reimbursements, and are forced to make the difficult decision to stop serving Medicaid patients.

Drugstore company Walgreen Co said on Monday it would pull almost half its pharmacies in Washington state from the U.S. Medicaid program in protest against the state’s plan to cut reimbursements for drugs.

Cash-strapped Washington state plans to insist on cheaper, generic drugs for low-income Medicaid clients whenever available and equivalent to brand-name drugs, and is also cutting the rate of reimbursements on all drugs to pharmacies which supply them.
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Call Your (Grand)Parents!

telephoneOlder adults who lack family and friends, or who feel lonely despite having others around them, tend to be in poorer physical and mental health, a new study finds.

Researchers found that among roughly 3,000 U.S. adults ages 57 to 85, those with few social connections were less likely to describe their physical health as good or excellent. Meanwhile, those who felt socially isolated — even if they had friends, family and social activities — tended to report poorer physical and mental well-being.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, add to evidence linking social connections to older adults’ health.

But they also suggest that older people’s actual social support and their perceptions of that support each have independent effects, according to the researchers.

“Most older adults will experience significant changes in their social relationships due to things like retirement and bereavement, for example,” said lead researcher Dr. Erin York Cornwell, of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

More after the jump.

Source:  Journal of Health and Social Behavior, March 2009
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Maggots No Wonder Cure

Hmm.. I think I’ll pass on the flesh-eating maggots.

LONDON (Reuters) – Putting flesh-eating maggots into open wounds may not be such a great idea after all.

They do clean wounds more quickly than normal treatment but this does not lead to faster healing, results of the world’s first controlled clinical trial of maggot medicine showed on Friday.

Some patients also found so-called larval therapy more painful, according to the study in the British Medical Journal.

Gruesome as it sounds, maggots have a long history in medicine. Napoleon’s battle surgeon was a maggot enthusiast, and they were put to work during the American Civil War and in the trenches in World War One.

More recently, medical experts have been looking again at the creatures’ healing powers, including their potential to prevent dangerous infections like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

To find out more, researchers at Britain’s University of York recruited 267 patients with venous leg ulcers and treated them either with maggots or hydrogel, a standard wound-cleaning product.
They found no significant difference in outcomes or cost.

More after the jump.

Source: Reuters
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The Importance of Ambulatory Equipment

It has been estimated that about 1.5 million people in the United States use walkers.  Approximately 30% – 50% of patients abandon their ambulation aid soon after it’s delivered to them.  This reveals the importance of an appropriate device selection, proper fit, and patient education and training.

So who needs ambulatory equipment?  Ambulatory equipment is ideal for users who

  • Have impaired balance
  • Have weakened strength
  • Have difficulty coordinating movement
  • Have lower extremity complications and/or amputation
  • Are recovering from surgery
  • Have altered stability

This equipment can significantly increase mobility and independence.  Some items, such as a knee walker, can stimulate fast recover by utilizing more muscles and safe movement.

For our reviews on ambulatory products, look through our “Ambulatory” category archives.

Toilet Aids

toiletaidToilet Aids, or bathroom hygiene helpers, allow those with limited use of their hands and arms to function independently when using the toilet.  Their comfortable design extends the reach of the user, making toileting easier and cleaner.  Toilet aids are easy to clean and are travel friendly.  This product is an ideal choice for those with certain physical disabilities and mobility challenges.

Skin Care and Infection Control

Skin Care and Infection Control products soothe and clean sensitive areas, help combat presistent exposure to moisture, and offer protection against germs and disease.  Here are some products we recommend-

Baza ® Barrier Cream and Anti-fungal Cream
Helps maintain healthy skin and protects against moisture.

Calmoseptine Cream
Multi-purpose moisture barrier cream with cooling menthol. Temporarily relieves discomfort and itching. Protects skin from irritations caused by moisture.

Lantiseptic Cream
Emollient ointment with 3.5% lanolin. Encourages proper moisture balance. Protects skin from irritation due to diaper dermatitis. Gentle to highly sensitive skin.

A & D Ointment
Emollient rich in vitamins A & D. Thin consistency is quickly absorbed. Promotes healing of diaper rash, minor burns, sun burns and skin irritations.

Perineal Wash
No rinse conditioning formula removes waste matter for effective cleaning of perineal area. Helps reduce odors, reduces risk of skin irritation and breakdown.

Wet Wipes
Alcohol free wipes contain aloe and lanolin to improve skin care and comfort. Popular with caregivers and patients.

Exam Gloves
Non-sterile, easy to slip on and off gloves protect against blood borne pathogens and micro biologically transmitted diseases. High quality for durability and strength.

Hand Sanitizer
Alcohol based gel effectively kills germs.

Professional Medical becomes Accredited

compliance-team-colorSEATTLE, WA. MARCH 14, 2008 – We are excited to announce our recent accreditation with The Compliance Team! Only companies that adhere to the strictest guidelines are eligible to become accredited. From storage space to insurance billing to employee conduct to client care, every part of the business must adhere to the highest standards. Our dedication to client service impressed the accreditation agency – and we passed on the very first try with a 97 percent!  We chose to work with The Compliance Team, who have a CMS approved DMEPOS health care accreditation program. Unlike other accreditation companies who re-accredit every three years, The Compliance Team re-accredits on a yearly basis. Of the 100,000 plus durable medical equipment suppliers in the nation, Professional Medical is proud to be one of only 6,000 accredited companies.
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