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Medco Wins 2011 URAC Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection
Date:10/7/2011

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., Oct. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) today announced that its Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers® (TRCs) won the Silver Award for Best Practices in Health Care Consumer Empowerment and Protection from URAC, the nation's leading healthcare accreditation organization, during the URAC 12th Annual Quality Summit in Chicago.  

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100609/MEDCOLOGO)

Medco's program was selected as one of 20 finalists for the award in May 2011 by a distinguished panel of judges.  Finalists presented their winning programs during the Summit, showcasing best practices in two categories: consumer decision making and consumer health improvement.

Medco's Specialist Pharmacy Care Model for Improving Medication Adherence presentation demonstrated how the company's pharmacy practice for patients with chronic and complex conditions -- such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer -- improves patient safety, affordability and medication adherence with essential medications.  Medco specialist pharmacists are trained in a particular disease and supported by proprietary information systems that enable review of patient-level data and evidence-based clinical protocols to effectively identify and address clinically significant gaps in care, including adherence to essential medication and omissions of essential medications or testing.  

The submission also highlighted metrics -- such as the Adherence Gap Closure Rate -- which showed significant improvements in adherence rates, by disease category, over the time period measured versus non-therapeutic resource center results.  Existing peer-reviewed evidence shows that adherence rates above defined thresholds are correlated with improved clinical outcomes as compared with patients whose adherence rates are below the threshold.  

"With medication-related hospitalizations due to poor adherence ranging from 33 to 69 percent, and direct and indirect health care costs estimated at $290 billion annually, it is critical for us to address and improve patient medication adherence," said Dr. Glen Stettin, Medco's chief medical officer.  "Our experience and evidence shows that Medco specialist pharmacists, working with advanced pharmacy technology, can effectively help patients close gaps in their care and improve their adherence.

"Earning the Silver Award from URAC is a tremendous honor recognizing the important work our pharmacists do to improve our patient's health and well-being," Stettin added.

"URAC's Annual Quality Summit provides a unique opportunity for leaders in health care to learn what premier companies are doing to advance consumer empowerment and protection," said Alan P. Spielman, President and CEO of UARC.  "We are proud to honor Medco's program.  By sharing these best practices, we can work to inspire the industry as a whole to adopt proven practices that advance patient safety and empower consumers."

Also recognized by URAC was Medco's Optimal Health® program -- a strategic alliance with Healthways, Inc. -- for improving member engagement in care management.  Optimal Health earned an Honorable Mention Award in the Health Management Category.  Medco and Healthways' presentation focused on how the use of advanced analytics, faster data integration, advanced clinical information systems, and practice collaboration between nurses, health coaches, benefit specialists and specialist pharmacists can better engage patients and encourage participation in a care management program.

For more information about the URAC 12th Annual Quality Summit, go to http://www.urac.org/12thAnnualSummit/12thAnnualSummit.asp.

About Medco

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) is pioneering the world's most advanced pharmacy® and its clinical research and innovations are part of Medco making medicine smarter™ for approximately 65 million members.

With more than 20,000 employees worldwide dedicated to improving patient health and reducing costs for a wide range of public and private sector clients, and 2010 revenues of $66 billion, Medco ranks 34th on the 2011 Fortune 500 list and is named among the world's most innovative, most admired and most trustworthy companies. 

For more information, go to http://www.medcohealth.com.


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SOURCE Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
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