CVS Caremark Sucks

My advice to anyone seeking a job at CVS Caremark is to beware.  We are living in trying times due to the economy and if you are offered a job at CVS Caremark, then you better be prepared to be paid less for an overwhelming expectations.  That goes for a lot of jobs out there, but for now I am just focusing on CVS Caremark.  This company as of January 2011 is taking away precious PTO (Paid Time Off) hours from all employees in which you will only get 2 weeks.  PTO is vacation and sick leave combined.  You may think that I can survive on 2 weeks of PTO time, but you have to keep in mind that people get sick, their spouses get sick, their children get sick.  You also have to take PTO time for doctors and dentist appointments (which includes your children as well).  CVS Caremark also has eliminated the health club reimbursement and reduced the education fund by half.  CVS Caremark seems to put up this positive front on shows like ABC's Extreme Homemake Over that they are a caring company.  That is a bunch of BULL.  CVS Caremark only cares about putting up appearances mean while their on employees struggle financially.  My advice to you is to research the benefits of any company you are about to consider for employment.  Benefits, annual leave, sick leave, HOLIDAYS, etc matter.  Do not be a fool like me. 

2. January 2011 15:22 by cvscaremarksucks | Comments (1) | Permalink

Employee Suggestion Box

18. April 2010 14:31 by Mail Order Survivor | Comments (0) | Permalink

New troubles for CVS Caremark

By Mina Kimes, writer March 23, 2010

(Fortune) -- When two of America's biggest health-care companies -- CVS and Caremark -- merged in 2007, regulators barely noticed. Now lawmakers, customers, and pharmacists are accusing it of using its combined clout to pressure consumers to use CVS. Besides an FTC probe, Fortune has learned, several states are investigating the $99 billion company, which some people hope will be broken up. "I think there's potential for an actual divestiture," says David Balto, a former FTC policy director who now works with the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA). CVS Caremark says it is not aware of the states' investigation, but the Florida attorney general's office confirmed the inquiry.

At the heart of the controversy is CVS Caremark's unique business model. Both a drugstore chain and a pharmacy benefits manager, the company sells medicine through its own stores while simultaneously reimbursing rival chains through its PBM. Critics say that arrangement poses a conflict of interest, because PBMs are supposed to be drugstore agnostic -- and Caremark, they say, can't help but favor CVS.
"It gives them an unfair, distinct advantage," says one Michigan-based independent pharmacist who declined to be named for fear that Caremark, which regularly audits pharmacies, would subject his business to harsher checks. "They're forcing business there, which is something they said they wouldn't do," he alleges.

When CVS CEO Tom Ryan proposed the merger in 2006, he promised that the resulting business would be "agnostic to where the consumer fills their prescription." But several independent pharmacists -- members of the NCPA -- told Fortune that Caremark redirects its members into CVS stores by offering lower co-payments there, automatically filling prescriptions at CVS, and, in some cases, telling them outright to go to CVS.
Pushed to fill prescriptions at CVS

Caremark patients have also complained about diminished choice. Sylvia Everett, a retired teacher in Aransas, Texas, says she was upset when her 99-year-old mother wasn't allowed to fill a Nexium prescription at the local pharmacy she has used for decades after being discharged from the hospital last fall. "I called Caremark. They told me, you can get it at CVS," she says. "But there's not one in my town."

Most of the prescriptions reportedly redirected to CVS are part of an initiative called Maintenance Choice. When health plans sign up for that program, their members can -- or must -- procure batches of certain drugs with cheaper co-payments through Caremark's mail-order service or CVS pharmacies. "We've added another layer of options," says CVS Caremark's Castel. She says there are also cases in which specialty drugs can be filled only at CVS.
0:00 /1:49MDs crippled by health care costs

Some rival pharmacists say Caremark exploits its access to their patients' information by sharing it with CVS pharmacists, who then call those patients at home, instructing them to pick up drugs at CVS. "They tell them: 'For your safety, you should only be using one pharmacy,'" says one California-based community pharmacist.

Castel says there is a medical imperative behind the calls. "There are advantages for the patient in having all of their prescriptions in one pharmacy," she says.

The spokeswoman points out that Caremark works with some 64,000 pharmacies, only 7,000 of which are CVS stores. "We have nothing to hide, and we're cooperating fully with the commission's inquiries," she wrote in an email.
Could Caremark be forced to divest?

The FTC's inquiry, which began in August, is likely to heat up after Julie Brill, a former Vermont assistant attorney general, was confirmed as an FTC commissioner. Brill helped lead a multi-state coalition that brought lawsuits against drug companies and major PBMs, including Caremark, in the mid-2000s. The suits -- which accused the PBMs of practices like pocketing rebates -- won hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

If the FTC finds CVS Caremark's behavior to be anticompetitive, it may order the company to institute a firewall. There is recent precedent: The Commission announced in February that it would require such a wall between PepsiCo (PEP, Fortune 500) and Pepsi Bottling Group and PepsiAmericas, which bottle and distribute drinks sold by Pepsi's competitors. Or it could be forced to sell CVS altogether.

CVS Caremark (CVS, Fortune 500) also faces legislative challenges. Ohio is considering a bill that would ban PBMs with relationships with retailers -- like CVS Caremark -- from exploiting those ties, and a Mass. representative recently introduced a bill in Congress that would prohibit the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), currently one of CVS Caremark's biggest customers, from doing business with a PBM owned by a retailer.

The loss of the FEHBP as a client would weigh heavily on Caremark, which has not been performing as well as investors would like. When CEO Tom Ryan announced in November that Caremark had lost $4.8 billion in 2010 contracts, CVS' stock dropped 20% that day.
Next steps for health care

Therein lies the irony of CVS's regulatory troubles: The merger hasn't been a success. Ryan insisted in November that the losses had nothing to do with the integrated business model, citing one-off events and marketing missteps. Helene Wolk, a Sanford Bernstein analyst, thinks Caremark's woes are separate from the integrated business model. "If you look at its performance versus Medco (MHS, Fortune 500), Caremark has been a laggard for three years," she says. "There was an issue here, which I think was about management execution or lack thereof."

Ryan seems bent on fixing that. Caremark's former president, Howard McLure, retired and was replaced in December by Per Lofberg, the former chairman of Merck-Medco, a drugmaker-PBM hybrid that was formed in the early '90s. CVS recently announced plans to invest more money in its PBM. Most analysts seem to have faith in a turnaround, or at least view the stock as undervalued: CVS Caremark currently has 18 buy ratings and zero sells.

But at least one analyst, BMO Capital Markets' Dave Shove, thinks CVS Caremark's problems can't be fixed so easily. Shove says Caremark's salespeople have been too focused on touting their relationship with CVS -- making them an easy target for competitors. "I could easily imagine selling against this," he says.

While numerous companies in other industries have tried to buy PBMs over the years, says Shove, none have succeeded. For example, Merck-Medco broke itself up in 2003, a few years after the FTC told it to change its business practices. Shove expects CVS Caremark to take a similar route. "PBMs are the unruly foster children of health care. They have been adopted by many different kinds of organizations -- drug companies, managed care, hospitals," he says. "Much like unruly foster kids, they get sent back out."

 

23. March 2010 00:05 by WebMaster | Comments (0) | Permalink

Former DLWizard in RIDC, PA.

I started working for Eckerd Health Services in RIDC Park, PA.  in the fall of 2003 as a customer service representative.
I did very well and within 8 months I was promoted to a first level supervisor team “CAT” now known as the “Elite Team”.  I took help line calls from the customer service representative who needed guidance and all the worst calls from customers demanding to a talk to a supervisor. I also did advanced computer operations for overriding claims processing along with enormous amounts of clerical work. When CVS Pharmacare took over they destroyed our team, 70% turnover in the first six months for new hires. In the winter of 2005 I promoted out of team to an intranet website administrator position (Administrative Assistant II).
I was responsible for all the information the customer service representatives needed to perform their jobs. Creating and updating tens of thousands of web pages across 5 states. In the spring of 2007 I got hurt and went on short term disability for a few months. I endured many sessions of physical therapy and when I returned in the fall of 2007 things had changed, our new masters, Caremark did not care about the employees or the customers they took over. By the spring of 2008 they eliminated my job and would not let me transfer to another position even with a reduction in salary. Now being disabled and a drain on their insurance benefits they laid me off and I started to collect unemployment. I had always gotten top marks on my yearly reviews with a pat on the back for my 50 cent raise. To Caremark it meant nothing. I even got a 50 cent raise a month before they let me go. When I started with Eckerd Health Services I had a career and a future, as soon as Caremark took over all of that meant nothing to them, I was just a handicapped liability that needed to be disposed of. It’s been two years and I still can’t find work.

18. February 2010 21:08 by DLWizard | Comments (0) | Permalink

Digital Photo Rights

WITI-TV, MILWAUKEE - When you take pictures of your cute little 3-year-old, you don't think twice about taking them to get developed. Will you after you see this story? We bet you never gave much thought to who owns your photo rights.

For some photography is a hobby, and for others it's a business. Like most professional photographers copyright rules are important to Liz Setterfield. That's why we wanted her take on photo policies from several chain stores.

Under terms and conditions and license and warranties on the CVS website it says "You grant to the website and its service providers and licenses a non-exclusive, royalty-free...to access, use, copy, reproduce without providing compensation to you or any other person." It appears that by uploading your digital photos, you give them the right to your photos to do whatever they want with them. The worst part is there's nothing you can do to stop it.

Besides CVS you'll find similar wording at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, and Walgreens. All four stores declined to go on-camera, but sent statements saying they don't sell your pictures to third parties. They only need the rights to share them with anyone you select.

Marquette Professor Bruce Boyden believes the stores need to have these arguments. He says, "They need a blanket license to actually publish the photos on the internet." The wording can be confusing though.

Boyden does point out that the Sam's Club and CVS agreement are especially vague. "They can do anything with your photos they want, as long as it's in connection with the service somehow.", says Boyden.

Boyden feels more comfortable going to Wal-Mart or Walgreens. So realistically, what's the chances your photos will turn up somewhere? Bottom line, if it's important to you, take a moment to look into the stores policy before you do business.

If you've ever wondered who owns your photos, it's the person that took them. That person owns the copyright. Even if ti's you taking a picture of your cat with a throwaway camera.

Professor Bruce Boyden says there's no minimum skill level to a copyright if you took it, you own it.

Here are the various responses from the companies we mentioned in this story.

Sam's Club Member privacy is critical to Sam's Club. In addition to providing confirmation that members have the right to use or reproduce images, Sam's Club's Terms and Conditions are designed to allow Sam's Club to process orders and to allow members to share their photos online with others, provided the member authorization. When members submit media or film for processing, Sam's Club would not disclose, use or modify the related images for commercial purposes or any other purpose (unless required by applicable laws) without obtaining members' express permission.

Sam's Club 2101 SE Simple Savings Dr, Bentonville, AR 72716-0745

Walgreens Q: Specifically, it has come to our attention by a customer, that if a person shoots digital pictures and uses Walgreens to upload them--Walgreens then has the complete rights to those photos. Is this true? A: No. This limits Walgreens rights to "solely for the purpose of providing the service" of printing.

Q: Why do you have this policy? A: So we don't infringe on a customer's copyright by providing our photograph printing services to that customer. It is a right to copy, not an assignment of rights, and is limited to our provision of photograph printing services to that customer. There is nothing in our policy that would suggest a "complete right to photos" for Walgreens.

Q: Do you sell pictures to third parties that your customers take and develop through your photo department? A: No. Never.

Q: If so, who do you sell them to, how often and why? A: Not applicable.

Q: What are the pictures used for? A: Not applicable.

Q: Please tell us when this policy was put in place, as well. A: 2005

Q: Is there any recourse for the consumer? Or, once they "accept" the terms--by reading and understanding them, then uploading and printing, they've agreed to those terms? A: Yes. There is a recourse detailed in our policy.

Q: Or is there something for the consumer to sign? A: This is an electronic signature.

Q: We would like you to provide someone locally whom we can interview for this story. A: No thank you.

Wal-Mart Walmart.com's Photo Terms and Conditions was forwarded to me. The privacy of our customers is very important to us, and we would never share their photos without their permission. Our Terms of Use clearly state we will not use or modify content for marketing purposes or any other purposes without obtaining customers' express permission. Our rights to the photos are only for the purpose of displaying them to the people our customers select – i.e., when they email or share a digital album or photos with friends and family – and to fulfill orders. More information can be found here: http://photos2.walmart.com/termsofuse/#ownership

Thanks,

Ravi Jariwala
Spokesman, Walmart.com

CVS Pharmacy The terms and conditions that you reference on our website mean that the customer who is using our site is giving CVS the right to reproduce, store and/or print the images on their behalf. So the customer accepts the terms to release the rights to the photo(s) so that we are legally allowed to store them for the customer and print them on behalf of the customer. We do not sell of license any customer photos. We do not receive any revenue from customer photos. When a customer uses our website for images, they must be stored, replicated when files are backed up, and transmitted via the internet to the 3rd party that hosts our site and manages our file storage. (This company does not sell these images either.) Our Privacy Policy (also on the site) spells out that we do not otherwise share images unless required to do so by law.

Copyright © 2010, WITI-TV
Katrina Cravy FOX 6 Reporter, February 9, 2010

 

11. February 2010 22:58 by WebMaster | Comments (1) | Permalink

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