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HealthBiz

Amazon.com Inc.’s potential entry into the pharmacy business represents another way for Perrigo Co. plc to sell medications to consumers and grow the overall market, rather than a threat to the drugmaker’s existing retail sales network, executives say.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health’s venture to co-brand medications sold at West Michigan Meijer Inc. stores aims to make it easier for patients to find the help they need when they’re sick.

CALEDONIA — Acrisure LLC remained the largest buyer of insurance brokers across North America in the first half of 2017.

The number of venture capital-backed startup companies based in West Michigan grew 20 percent over the last three years.

GRAND RAPIDS — In a move to build a broader talent pool for future candidates, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital began a medical residency program this summer to help groom new doctors specializing in treating patients with traumatic injuries.

GRAND RAPIDS — Spectrum Health’s latest business venture seeks to create a new way to deliver care by focusing on keeping people healthy, rather treating them when they’re sick.

GRAND RAPIDS — Priority Health members who have used the insurer’s cost estimator have saved more than $6.3 million in the two years the online tool has been available.

BCBS takes steps to respond to opioid abuse

Written by | Sunday, 06 August 2017 15:47 |

Nearly one in five Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members had a prescription for an opioid filled in 2015. The dispensing rate nationally was higher, at 21.4 percent. Between 2010 and 2016, the 36 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans across the U.S. recorded a 493-percent spike in enrollees diagnosed with a disorder associated with opioid use. Those statistics from the Chicago-based Blue Cross Blue Shield Association reflect the opioid epidemic in America that in 2016 resulted in more than 33,000 overdose deaths. MiBiz spoke with Jody Gembarski, a pharmacy manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan who oversees its controlled substance work group, to discuss the association’s analysis and the role the state’s largest health insurer has in responding to the epidemic.

HOLLAND — Holland Hospital plans to begin work early next year on a $14.5 million expansion of its birthing unit to accommodate more newborn deliveries.

Federal lawmakers need to focus on what’s driving health care costs in America that in turn contributes to the rising cost of health coverage.

WYOMING — Six months into its new life as part of the University of Michigan Health System, Metro Health has a clearer view of its future based on capital investments to drive growth.

Greg Loomis doesn’t consider the clattering of construction equipment just outside his office to be a daily distraction, but rather the future of health care in Muskegon County taking shape.

What one Grand Rapids-area physician considers a form of “extortion,” others see as a necessary way to gauge how well doctors keep up with modern medicine.

The heightened use of cheaper generic drugs has not been enough to stem the rising costs of prescription medication for Americans. 

Legislation requiring doctors to use a state-run drug-monitoring system before prescribing a controlled substance represents the “start of a journey” to address the opioid epidemic in Michigan.

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