KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Marketplace News: Walmart Positions Itself As A Primary Care Provider

The big-box retailer is stepping up efforts to become a destination for medical services, including chronic disease management.

The New York Times: In Ambitious Bid, Walmart Seeks Foothold In Primary Care Services
Welcome to Walmart. The nurse will be right with you. Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, has spent years trying to turn some of its millions of customers into patients, offering a simple menu of medical services that consumers can buy along with everything from a bag of chips to a lawn mower. Now, the store is making an aggressive push to become a one-stop shopping destination for medical care (Abrams, 8/7).

Earlier, related KHN coverage: The Walmart Opportunity: Can Retailers Revamp Primary Care? (Appleby, 11/17/11).

Meanwhile, Novartis fails to secure a dismissal of kickback case -

Reuters:  Novartis Loses New Bid To Dismiss U.S. Lawsuit Over Kickbacks 
A Manhattan federal judge on Thursday said the U.S. Department of Justice may pursue most of its lawsuit accusing Novartis AG of civil fraud for allegedly using kickbacks to boost sales of drugs covered by Medicare and Medicaid. U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon allowed the government to continue its False Claims Act case against the Swiss drugmaker over claims submitted to Medicare and some state Medicaid programs for Myfortic, used by patients with kidney transplants, and Exjade, for patients who get blood transfusions. She also dismissed a part of the case covering claims submitted to state Medicaid programs other than New York's prior to March 23, 2010, when the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was enacted (Stempel, 8/7). 

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