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Experts Available to Discuss Enrollment for Medicare's Prescription-Drug Program.

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TOPIC: As the May 15 deadline to enroll in Medicare's new prescription-drug program approaches, many fear that the people who would benefit the most are not signing up, according to an article by USA TODAY. A report from Families USA, a health care advocacy group, shows only 24 percent of the 7.2 million individuals who qualify for low-income subsidies have been approved. Federal officials claim more than 37 million Medicare recipients have been covered by the drug plan since Jan. 1. However, community organizers say the application process is confusing and the government has not effectively reached out to ethnic communities.

EXPERTS: ExpertSource can offer several highly qualified experts to comment on this story:

Beckie Fenrick, Pharm.D., MBA, Vice President of Clinical Services, Innoviant, has nearly 20 years' experience in the pharmaceuticals industry and leads the company's clinical programs including pharmacy/therapeutics operations and rebate contracting. She was director of pharmacy with Dean Health Plan in Madison, Wis., where she designed and implemented programs and initiatives that produced significant savings for plan members and plan sponsors and improved the pharmaceutical care of plan members. Previously, as a provider education pharmacist for Dean Health Plan she worked with physicians to improve the pharmaceutical care of plan members and influence physicians' prescribing behaviors. Her background also includes roles as a pharmacist, pharmacy manager and pharmaceutical sales representative. Fenrick's academic credentials include a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville, a Master of Business Administration degree in management from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and a Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Edmund Pezalla's responsibilities include the oversight of PBM Prescription Solutions' clinical services, including formulary development and related Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) committee activities, prior authorization and clinical program development and implementation. In addition, he is responsible for managing the company's pharmacoeconomics and health outcomes research programs, which include development and implementation of retrospective, prospective and Phase IV studies for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies. Dr. Pezalla has a strong background in public policy and population management as well as disease management programs and cost benefit analyses.

Peter B. Rodes is Divisional Vice President of Marketing Channels, for the Consumer Markets Division of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL). Prior to joining BCBSIL, Rodes was the VP of Marketing for BENU, an insurance services company that partners with leading health plans. Rodes also led marketing efforts at ChannelPoint, Health Net and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Rodes earned his MBA and MHSA from the University of Michigan and a BS from Wake Forest University. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC), is the oldest and largest health insurance company in Illinois. It began in 1936 as Hospital Service Corporation with the Blue Cross symbol officially adopted in 1939. Currently, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provides health insurance coverage for 6.9 million people. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Jim Yocum is vice president of government affairs for DestinationRx. He leads the team that implemented the prescription drug plan comparison tool on www.medicare.gov. He is an expert on Medicare Part D and pharmacy benefits.

ExpertSource cannot guarantee the immediate availability of these experts or their familiarity with this specific issue.

Journalists seeking to interview any of these experts can obtain contact information by visiting http://www.businesswire.com/.

ExpertSource provides academic and industry experts to the media at no charge. Journalists are encouraged to submit queries to ExpertSource when seeking experts on specific subjects. An online registration form is available at the above web address.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 9, 2006
Words:625
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