Roundup: Brown’s Pension Plan No Panacea For Calif.; Personhood Amendment Won’t Make Colo. Ballot

English: Governor Jerry Brown at a rally in Sa...

English: Governor Jerry Brown at a rally in Sacramento’s Winn Park on Halloween, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Jerry Brown's official picture as Att...

English: Jerry Brown’s official picture as Attorney General and as Governor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Women’s Health, Medicaid, States, Quality, Uninsured, Aging, Health Costs, Health Disparities, Delivery of Care, Politics

Aug 30, 2012

Los Angeles Times: Gov. Jerry Brown’s Plan To Stem Pension Costs Is No Panacea
Even by the most ambitious forecasts, the plan Gov. Jerry Brown and fellow Democrats are championing to contain government worker pensions in California could leave state taxpayers awash in debt to public employees. … His initial proposal would have housed a sizable chunk of retirement money for new hires in 401(k)-style funds, shifting considerable financial risk away from taxpayers to employees. He also had taken aim at tens of billions of dollars in lifetime healthcare expenses awarded to hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers. Brown’s negotiations with lawmakers resulted in a more modest plan (Halper and York, 8/29).

California Healthline: Time Is Short For Healthy Families Bills
If the two legislative bills to revive Healthy Families get passed by tomorrow night’s deadline, a lot of things are going to have to happen today. The bills need to be heard in health committee, both committees would need to waive a re-hearing, the bills then must be brought to the floor and passed by both houses. And that’s assuming the bills don’t have to go through appropriations committee. It all is expected to start today, if and when the Senate bill can be presented to the Assembly Committee on Health. The Assembly would need to waive the rules on publicly noticing meetings before the committee could hear it (Gorn, 8/30).

Reuters: Marijuana Activists Seek Vote To Block Los Angeles Dispensary Ban
Marijuana activists in Los Angeles, the hub of America’s medical cannabis industry, said on Wednesday they will submit a petition of 50,000 signatures to block a municipal ban on pot dispensaries from taking effect next week. The move comes amid a widening dispute over pot shops in California’s most populous city. Residents complain dispensaries are a nuisance that draw riffraff, but the store owners say they serve patients with serious diseases like cancer and AIDS (Dobuzinskis, 8/29).

The Denver Post: Anti-Abortion Personhood Amendment Won’t Make Colorado Ballot
The proposed anti-abortion measure known as the Personhood Amendment won’t be on the ballot, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced Wednesday, but supporters promised to challenge what they call a wrong result. Gessler said the personhood petition drive fell short of the required number of signatures by 3,859 (Draper and Bartels, 8/30).

The Hill: Anti-Abortion ‘Personhood’ Measure Fails To Make Colo. Ballot
A controversial “personhood” amendment may not qualify for the ballot this year in Colorado — another setback for a policy that has divided abortion-rights opponents. The Colorado secretary of state said Wednesday that personhood supporters don’t have enough valid signatures to get their proposal added to the November ballot. Planned Parenthood Action Fund celebrated the news, saying personhood won’t be on the ballot in any state this November — a big change from just months ago, when supporters were angling for ballot initiatives in several swing states (Baker, 8/29).

The Associated Press: Nation’s Largest Health Care Fraud Settlement Means $1.4 Million For Alaska
The largest health care fraud settlement in U.S. history means more than $1.4 million for Alaska. The state attorney general’s office says that is Alaska’s share of a settlement with GlaxoSmithKline. The company agreed to pay a total of $3 billion to resolve allegations that it engaged in various illegal schemes related to the marketing and pricing of 10 drugs (8/29).

The Associated Press: Ky. Initiative Helps Soldiers With Substance Abuse
A team of military and health care professionals have been charged with finding better ways to help military service members, veterans and their families with substance abuse and mental health issues. Gov. Steve Beshear announced the initiative on Wednesday, saying the state needs to be ready with resources to help those who have sacrificed so much (8/29).

The Associated Press: Three Ore. Counties Get Coordinated-Care Organizations
Oregon has certified two more organizations to provide healthcare for people on the Oregon Health Plan. The Oregon Health Authority gave provisional approval to coordinated-care organizations that want to operate in Hood River, Wasco and Yamhill counties. If formally approved later this month, they will begin operating on Nov. 1 (8/29).

Kansas Health Institute News: Health Improvement Initiative Launched To Identify State’s Priorities
An initiative to identify how best to improve Kansans’ health over the next decade began this week with a meeting of about 70 representatives of state agencies, various health associations and foundations. The goal of the Healthy Kansans 2020 steering committee is to set priorities for the state choosing from among a list of about 600 national health goals in 42 broad areas (PDF), said Paula Clayton of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, which is leading the effort (Cauthon, 8/29).

North Carolina Health News: Confusion Over Cuts At Public Meeting
Confusion about which programs would be cut and a request for more information were the overriding concerns at at public meeting held Tuesday evening by Wake County’s new mental health management entity. Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, a partnership between Durham, Wake, Johnston and Cumberland counties, held meetings in Durham and Wake this week to inform advocates and mental health consumers about how they would be affected by $20 million in federal funding cuts to the Social Services Block Grant and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (Monti, 8/30).

St. Louis Beacon: Report Underscores Serious Health Disparities Among Gays
People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender face some of the poorest health outcomes and experience severe health disparities in relation to other Missouri residents, according to a report by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The report says poor health outcomes for this group are due to many factors, including lack of health coverage and “social and economic systems that have not supported and protected minorities.” Drawing on state and local data as well as information from other sources, the report paints a picture of a Missouri LGBT population that is 1.5 times more likely to be uninsured than other residents (Joiner, 8/29).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Exchange Planning Takes Hold In States — Each With Different Flavor

A CNN poll conducted in March of 2010Citation ...

A CNN poll conducted in March of 2010Citation needed, days after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law found nearly 3 in 5 Americans were opposed to the legislationClarify. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Health Reform, States, Politics, Marketplace, Insurance

Aug 28, 2012

Vermont, the District of Columbia and Connecticut are among those planning health law-mandated marketplaces where consumers and small businesses can buy insurance — each with its own twist.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Vermont Goes For Gold (Silver, Bronze And Platinum, Too)
Vermont is the only state in the nation on a path to a single payer health system. That could take a while, though. And in the meantime, the state has to set up an insurance exchange to comply with the Affordable Care Act (Kinzel, 8/27).

Politico Pro: D.C. Exchange Setting Unique Path
As states look to Washington for direction on their health insurance exchanges, this much is clear: the exchange taking root in Washington itself is setting a pretty unique path. Outside of Vermont, which is pursuing a single-payer system, D.C.’s exchange is shaping up to be one of the most progressive ones in the country. And that’s spooking some businesses and insurers, which say the exchange would choke off competition in favor of propping up an unproven marketplace. Recommendations touted by D.C. exchange advisers and city officials would send all of the District’s small businesses into the exchange, expand the definition of small businesses, and merge risk pools for the small group and individual markets. D.C. insurance officials insist that putting all of the small businesses in the exchange is the only way to ensure it can survive (Millman, 8/28).

The Associated Press: Conn. Moving Ahead With New Health Care Exchange
Connecticut officials are pushing ahead with plans to set up a new health insurance exchange by next fall. The federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week awarded the state a $107 million grant (8/27).

Meanwhile, in other news related to the health law’s implementation —

Kaiser Health News: Feds Push Maryland To Think Big On Health Cost Control
If quiet negotiations between policymakers and industry bear fruit, Maryland could join the short list of states attempting to go far beyond the Affordable Care Act in improving health and limiting spending (Hancock, 8/28). Read the story.

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Mergers, Acquisitions And New Affiliations Change Roles For Insurers, Providers

Topics: Health Costs, Delivery of Care, Hospitals, Insurance, Marketplace

Aug 27, 2012

News outlets report on changes in the health care marketplace.

The Wall Street Journal: Same Doctor Visit, Double The Cost
But something had changed: his cardiologist’s practice had been bought by Renown Health, a local hospital system. Dr. Hubbard was caught up in a structural shift that is sweeping through health care in the U.S. — hospitals are increasingly acquiring private physician practices. Hospitals say the acquisitions will make health care more efficient. But the phenomenon, in some cases, also is having another effect: higher prices (Mathews, 8/26).

Kaiser Health News: Hospitals Look To Become Insurers, As Well As Providers Of Care
Michael Dowling, a burly Ireland native running one of New York’s largest hospital networks, is preparing to turn his business model on its head: He wants to keep his hospital beds empty, rather than full. That’s because the North Shore-LIJ Health System, with 16 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient centers in Long Island and New York City, is laying the groundwork to be an insurer, as well as a provider of health care (Rabin, 8/26).

Kaiser Health News: Mayo Clinic Seeks to Extend Its Reach With A Series Of Affiliations Around The Country
Capitalizing on its reputation for top notch medical care, Mayo previously relied primarily on patients traveling to its main campus in Rochester, Minn., as well as satellite campuses in Jacksonville, Fla., and Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz., and a regional health system it has built in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota (Graham, 8/24).

The Washington Post: Affordable Care Act Driving Health Care Mergers
Two of the region’s corporate giants — one focused on government health insurance, the other specializing in communities for seniors — were acquired by larger industry players last week, as consolidation heats up in health-related sectors (Ho, 8/26).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

English: California OPA Health Care Quality Re...

English: California OPA Health Care Quality Report Card on HMOs for 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chicago, Blue Cross Blue Shield To Team On Health Care Fraud Task Force

English: Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower

English: Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eric Schneiderman

Eric Schneiderman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: House Bill and Senate Bill subsidies ...

English: House Bill and Senate Bill subsidies for health insurance premiums. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: States, Medicaid

Aug 14, 2012

Chicago officials will team with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois on a new health care fraud task force.

The Associated Press: City, Blue Shield Team Up On Detecting Fraud
Chicago officials are teaming up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois on health care fraud detection and prevention. A task force will be made up of representatives of the city and the health insurer. Members will work to assess potential health care fraud and instances of wasteful spending (8/14).

And two men — a dentist in New York and a home health care provider in Virginia — admit to Medicaid fraud —

The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Brooklyn Dentist Admits Fraud In Medicaid Probe
New York authorities say a Brooklyn dentist has pleaded guilty to fraud, admitting he paid recruiters to solicit homeless Medicaid patients with cash. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli say dentist Lawrence J. Bruckner of Plainview has also admitted failing to pay taxes on payments he received from other dentists who worked at his clinics (8/13).

The Associated Press/Sacramento Bee: Man Pleads To Health Care Fraud In VA
A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to a health care fraud charge. Thirty-one-year-old Joseph T. Hackett of Asheville entered the plea Monday in federal court in Richmond. Federal prosecutors say Hackett owned Richmond-based Access Regional Taskforce, which contracted with Medicaid to provide in-home mental health services for youth and adolescents. Hackett was accused of collecting money from Medicaid for services that didn’t meet the criteria for reimbursement (8/14).

This is part of Kaiser Health News‘ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

US residents with employer-based private healt...

US residents with employer-based private health insurance, with self insurance, with Medicare or Medicaid or military health care and uninsured in Million; U.S. Census bureau: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Longer Looks: Waking Up To The Need For Sleep

Topics: Delivery of Care, Health Costs, Health Disparities, Insurance, Marketplace, Medicaid, Mental Health, Public Health, Quality

Aug 09, 2012

Every week, KHN reporter Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.

The Oregonian: Researchers Dig To Find What Became Of Morningside Hospital Patients, Alaska’s Mentally Ill
Among the more than 11,000 dearly departed inhabitants of Southeast Portland’s Multnomah Park Cemetery, friends Eric Cordingley and David Anderson have their favorites: a reputed French madam, a young Norwegian institutionalized for being gay, and Louis Napoleon Lepley — or, as they call him, “Louis the cannibal.” Intriguing as their individual stories may be, together they help tell a bigger, darker tale … [W]hen Morningside Hospital brimmed with every Alaskan deemed insane. … [T]he federal government paid the now-defunct asylum to house the mentally ill from Alaska, where such care didn’t exist. In an archaic system — mental illness was considered criminal — patients were arrested and escorted out of their northerly cities, towns and villages by federal marshals. … Often, their families never learned where their loved ones were taken (Katy Muldoon, 8/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Decoding The Science Of Sleep
Sure, we’d like to get a bit more of it. But, beyond that, sleep likely hovers somewhere near flossing in most of our lives: something we are supposed to do more — but don’t. Americans, however, are starting to wake up about sleep. Endless ads for dubious energy drinks and an equal number of much slicker ads for prescription sleep aids reveal a culture in 2012 that is wired and tired. Lack of sleep, it seems, has become one of the signature ailments of our modern age. Nearly a third of working adults in America — roughly 41 million people — get less than six hours of sleep a night, according to a recent CDC report. That number of sleep-deprived people is up about 25 percent from 1990 (David K. Randall, 8/3).

The New Yorker: Big Med
It’s easy to mock places like the Cheesecake Factory — restaurants that have brought chain production to complicated sit-down meals. But the “casual dining sector,” as it is known, plays a central role in the ecosystem of eating, providing three-course, fork-and-knife restaurant meals that most people across the country couldn’t previously find or afford. … Does health care need something like this? … Medicine, though, had held out against the trend. Physicians were always predominantly self-employed, working alone or in small private-practice groups. American hospitals tended to be community-based. But that’s changing. Hospitals and clinics have been forming into large conglomerates. And physicians — facing escalating demands to lower costs, adopt expensive information technology, and account for performance — have been flocking to join them (Atul Gawande, 8/6).

The New York Times: Transplant Centers Struggle With Donors’ Obesity
When his mother’s kidneys began to fail three years ago, Ed Guillen knew what he had to do: donate one of his kidneys to her. But Mr. Guillen received a shock during a phone call with the Stanford Kidney Transplant Clinic, where his mother was being treated. He was ineligible to be a donor, even before tests to see if he was a genetic match. At 5-foot-10 and around 280 pounds, Mr. Guillen, a 39-year-old software developer in Redmond, Wash., was considered too heavy to donate an organ without potentially endangering his own health. He would need to lose more than 70 pounds, he was told, before the clinic would consider him as a candidate. Add one more unexpected consequence of Americans’ expanding waistlines: A growing number of potential organ donors are ineligible to donate because of their weight (Kate Yandell, 8/6).

NBC News: Falling Through Cracks If States Don’t Expand Medicaid
Derek Anderson never imagined he’d wind up on welfare. At 36, he has a college degree, a solid background in sales and three kids under the age of 7. He’s also recovering from leukemia and since he lost his job and his employer-sponsored insurance, he’s been on Medicare, the federal health insurance plan for the disabled and elderly. Anderson, who now relies on Social Security disability payments for income while he tries to get back on his feet, worries about whether he can get a job with health insurance. If he starts working, he’ll lose eligibility for Social Security and Medicare — but he and his wife, Erica, would likely be eligible for Medicaid if his home state, Montana, expands it as called for under the 2010 health reform law and offers it to low-income adults. However, their future is now unclear after the Supreme Court said states can opt out of the expansion (Maggie Fox, 8/7).

ABC: Trans Man Denied Cancer Treatment; Now Feds Say It’s Illegal
Jay Kallio, a former EMT who is disabled with kidney failure, rheumatoid arthritis and now cancer, has struggled to get good medical care, but being transgender stood in the way. At the age of 50, Kallio transitioned from female to male, but never had gender reassignment surgery, only hormone treatment. “I accept my body as I was born,” he said. But when a suspicious lump was found in his breast and tested positive for cancer, the surgeon was so shocked that Kallio’s body didn’t match his gender identification — not knowing whether to address him as “he” or “she” — that he couldn’t bring himself to tell his patient the grim biopsy results. Now the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said that under the Affordable Care Act, it is against the law to discriminate against transgender and LGBT patients in federally funded healthcare programs (Susan Donaldson James, 8/8).

The New York Times’s Well: Life, Interrupted: Medical Bills, Insurance And Uncertainty
Like a lot of other young people, I never thought about health insurance until I got sick. I was 22, and my adult life was just beginning. But less than a year after walking across the stage at my college graduation, I received an unexpected diagnosis — acute myeloid leukemia — and with it came a flurry of consultations, tests and appointments. From early on, my doctors told me I would need chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. But before the shock of the news could settle in — before I could consider where and how I would be treated — I did what most Americans must do when beset with a medical crisis: I called my insurance provider (Suleika Jaouad, 8/9).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

No medical bills for some Colorado shooting victims

DENVER (AP) — Some of the victims fighting for their lives after being wounded in the movie-theater shooting rampage may face another challenge when they get out of the hospital: enormous medical bills without the benefit of health insurance.

Members of the public, along with Warner Bros., the studio that released the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises,” have contributed nearly $2 million to help victims, though it’s not clear how much of that will cover medical expenses. One family is raising money on its own online.

And three of the five hospitals that treated victims said Wednesday they will limit or completely wipe out medical bills.

Some of the victims, however, still face a long recovery ahead and the associated medical costs — without health insurance. There’s no exact count of how many of them don’t have insurance but statistics suggest many of them might not be covered.

Nearly one in three Coloradans, or about 1.5 million, either have no health insurance or have coverage that is inadequate, according to a 2011 report by The Colorado Trust, a health care advocacy group.

The highest uninsured rate was among adults between 18 and 34 and many of those injured in the shootings are in that age group.

State officials said they are not sure whether any of the victims qualify for emergency Medicaid assistance available to needy patients. Victims could also get financial assistance from a state program that helps people hurt during crimes, including lost wages and counseling.

Among the uninsured victims of the movie-theater attack is a 23-year-old aspiring comic, Caleb Medley, who is in critical condition with a head wound and whose wife, Katie, gave birth to their first child, Hugo, on Tuesday.

His family and friends said they have set a goal of raising $500,000 to cover his hospital bills and other expenses and were over halfway there on Wednesday.

“All the money that is donated is going straight to Caleb, Katie and Hugo to help them with medical bills, getting back on their feet, help with the baby items,” friend Michael West said. “Anything and everything that they need.”

Children’s Hospital Colorado announced it would use donations and its charity care fund to cover the medical expenses of the uninsured. For those who do have insurance, the hospital says it will waive all co-pays.

“We are committed to supporting these families as they heal,” according to a statement from the hospital, which treated six shooting victims.

HealthOne, which owns the Medical Center of Aurora and Swedish Medical Center, also says it will limit or eliminate charges based on the individual circumstances of the patients. Those hospitals have treated 22 shooting victims. However, the company cautioned its policy may not apply to all doctors working in its hospitals.

The other two hospitals, Denver Health Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital, where Medley is, wouldn’t directly say whether they would assist shooting victims. However, they are the state’s top two safety net hospitals and provided combined $750 million in free care in 2011.

Hospitals are required by federal law to stabilize patients during emergencies without regard to their ability to pay.

“The issue most probably facing the hospitals and patients in a situation like Aurora is what comes after ‘stabilization,'” said Dr. Howard Brody, director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a frequent critic of excessive medical costs.

“Many of these people I assume will need prolonged and expensive rehabilitation after their immediate injuries are dealt with, and that seems precisely what hospitals today are less and less willing to cover out of their own funds, and no law requires that they do so, as far as I am aware,” he said.

Medley is in a medically induced coma, but West said he has been showing signs of improvement, relying less on a ventilator to breathe. Medley’s wife, 21-year-old Katie Medley, gave birth on Tuesday, one floor above his room at University of Colorado Hospital.

Standup comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who has appeared on Comedy Central, planned to headline a Denver fundraiser for Medley next week.

The fundraising might actually make Medley ineligible for some income-related assistance. His family and all other victims are already meeting with victim advocates, the case workers who deal with people hurt during crimes. The advocates determine what services they need and what assistance they qualify for.

“We have individuals who will need a lifetime of care, or a lifetime of accommodation, and our job is to make sure those needs are met,” said Karla Maraccini, deputy director for community partnerships in the office of Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Walgreen, Express Scripts sign new agreement

The Walgreen pharmacy chain will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network again starting in September under a new multiyear contract that ends a costly impasse between the companies.

The agreement announced Thursday follows a series of disputes between Walgreen and Express Scripts that ended with the discontinuation of the contract between the drugstore operator and the pharmacy benefit manager last year.

The terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.

And Walgreen’s biggest drugstore rival, CVS Caremark, said it thinks it will keep a lot of the former Walgreen customers that it has won over the past year.

The developments illustrate the dexterity that providers are going to have to play to compete effectively in a rapidly changing health care marketplace.

Shares of Walgreen Co. jumped $3.29, or 10.6 percent, to $34.26 in afternoon trading Thursday while Express Scripts shares rose $1.33, or 2.3 percent, to $59.02.

Express Scripts administers prescription drug benefits for health plan sponsors and members, and it pays drugstores like Walgreen to fill prescriptions. Since January, Walgreen has not filled prescriptions for Express Scripts, saying the company was not paying enough in drug dispensing fees. Its sales have slumped since the split.

Express Scripts Holding Co. said it ended the contract with Walgreen because the drugstore operator wanted a premium compared to what Express Scripts paid other pharmacies. Walgreen Co. had said it would rather give up the revenue than continue filling unprofitable prescriptions. The dispute became public in June 2011. About a month later, Express Scripts agreed to buy one of its biggest competitors, Medco Health Solutions. That deal closed in April, and Walgreen could also have lost its business with Medco clients over the next few years as Express Scripts negotiated new deals.

The companies said in a statement Thursday that Walgreen will rejoin the network of pharmacies available to Express Scripts customers starting Sept. 15. Terms of the new contract were not disclosed.

“We are in the business of providing a broad range of pharmacy, health and wellness services to help meet the needs of all of our customers,” said Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens, in a statement. “I am pleased that Walgreens and Express Scripts have been able to reach an agreement that works for both parties and is consistent with our company’s principles.

Analysts said Walgreen probably made the biggest concessions in the deal because the split hurt its business more than it hurt Express Scripts.

“After speaking with Express Scripts, we don’t believe that Express Scripts budged in negotiations as it has seen limited disruption since ending its relationship with Walgreen,” said Citi Investment Research analyst Deborah Weinswing. She said the deal is likely to hurt Walgreen’s profit margins. She added that it’s not clear how many customers Walgreen will regain.

CVS Caremark said it expects to keep at least half the business it gained from Walgreen starting in late 2011 when the defections from Walgreen started ahead of its split with Express Scripts.

CVS also said it gained about 3 cents per share in income from the Walgreen-Express Scripts dispute in the first quarter and expects another 3 to 4 cents per share in the second quarter. The company said Friday it expects a smaller gain of 5 cents per share spread over the last two quarters of 2012.

Looking for ways to gain new business, Walgreen said in June that it had agreed to pay $6.7 billion to buy a stake in European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots. In early July it agreed to buy Stephen L. LaFrance Holdings, which runs 144 drugstores focused in the mid-South, for $438 million.

Before the companies’ contract lapsed, Express Scripts filed a lawsuit against Walgreen, accusing the drugstore chain of trying to lure away its customers. The lawsuit alleged that Walgreen told Express Scripts plan members, and especially Medicare Part D beneficiaries, that they would not be able to fill their prescriptions at Walgreen pharmacies unless they left Express Scripts and switched to a new pharmacy benefits management plan.