September 12, 2013 |
CVS Caremark insists that it's just complying with federal law by informing customers that their medical information could be "redisclosed" if they sign up for the company's prescription-drug reward program. Privacy experts, though, question whether CVS is complying with state law. "California's privacy law is stricter than federal law," said Charles Googooian, a La Canada Flintridge lawyer who specializes in medical-privacy issues. "It doesn't seem like CVS is complying with either the spirit or the letter of state law. " CVS has been scrambling to defend its ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program since I recently reported that customers are being required to give up important federal privacy safeguards in return for up to $50 a year in store credits.
October 25, 2012 |
Chris Cullum normally gets his prescriptions filled at a CVS Caremark store in San Diego. But, while traveling, he placed orders at a CVS branch in Arizona this year and at a branch in Illinois last year. In both cases, Cullum said, he subsequently received calls from the stores in those states letting him know that refills were ready. Two things make this noteworthy. One: Cullum, like other CVS customers who have related similar experiences, never signed up for the pharmacy's automatic-refill program, ReadyFill.
February 5, 2013 |
Deborah Shapiro decided a few months ago to switch her prescription drug coverage from her former employer's plan to Medicare. The Medicare literature made clear that she could save hundreds of dollars on the various drugs she and her husband required. Shapiro, 76, of Woodland Hills, studied her options carefully and decided to enroll in SilverScript, the Medicare-approved drug program run by CVS Caremark. That turned out to be not such a good decision after all. Shapiro was one of many seniors who found themselves facing inexplicably large bills that CVS refused to negotiate.
October 23, 2012 |
Ivor Davis received a call recently from the Target pharmacy near his home in Ventura. He was informed he could pick up a refill of medication for his wife, Sally, who is battling pancreatic cancer. Davis, 74, told me he and his wife like to be flexible in deciding where and when they purchase her drugs. Sometimes they refill prescriptions during visits to Seattle. Sometimes Davis crosses the border into Canada, where the usual $166 cost for Sally's pills can be cut in half. They never ask any pharmacy to refill an order until they're ready, which is why Target's call came as such a surprise.
September 5, 2008 |
Some Longs Drug Stores Corp. shareholders said they would oppose CVS Caremark Corp.'s $2.7-billion offer to buy the company if Longs didn't tell them more about the value of its real estate. CVS Caremark agreed to pay $71.50 a share for Longs to gain more than 500 stores. CVS valued Longs' real estate at about $1 billion. But CtW Investment Group said the price was too low by as much as $260 million, and two major Longs shareholders said they wanted to know more about how the real estate was valued.
August 15, 2013 |
Since February, CVS Caremark has been pushing its pharmacists to enroll customers in a prescription-drug rewards program. The benefit to customers is the opportunity to earn up to $50 a year in store credits that can be used to buy shampoo, toothpaste or other products. The benefit to CVS is persuading pharmacy customers, through questionable means, to give up federal privacy safeguards for their medical information and permitting the company to share people's drug purchases with others.
June 19, 2010 |
It turns out Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. need each other after all. After months of contract negotiations, punctuated by a two-week public brawl, the two drugstore giants announced Friday that they had settled a dispute that threatened to prevent thousands of people from filling their prescriptions at Walgreens stores. At issue: the way Caremark, one of the nation's biggest prescription-plan operators, prices discounts for prescriptions filled at Walgreens pharmacies, which often compete fiercely with nearby CVS stores nationwide.
February 5, 2014 |
It's long struck me as odd that drugstores, the places where most of us get our prescriptions filled for all manner of illnesses, also are go-to spots for cigarettes. With the latter, drugstores worsen the nation's health; with the former, they profit from it. ... Wait, maybe there is a method to that madness. Regardless, the CVS chain, owned by CVS Caremark , is doing the nation a service by ending the sale of tobacco products at its more than 7,600 retail outlets.
October 19, 2012 |
The U.S. Justice Department's civil fraud division is investigating claims that CVS Caremark wrongly refilled prescriptions and billed insurers without the knowledge or the approval of its customers. The probe will focus primarily on allegations of Medicare fraud, said Shana T. Mintz, an assistant U.S. attorney in the division's Los Angeles office. The investigation also will look into whether CVS violated a $17.5-million settlement reached with federal authorities last year over allegedly falsified claims to Medicaid programs in California and nine other states, Mintz said.
October 18, 2012 |
CVS Caremark is feeling more heat. Join me at 3:15 p.m. PDT for a Google+ Hangout video chat about my latest column on CVS being investigated for allegedly refilling prescriptions and submitting claims to insurers without patients' approval. Another federal investigation has begun. I'll have information on that. Also, we've gotten our hands on more internal documents highlighting instructions given to CVS pharmacists about enrolling people in the company's automatic-refill program.