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Updated 11:00 AM April 5, 2004



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News Briefs

AdvancePCS merges with Caremark Rx

On March 24, U-M's Prescription Drug Plan provider, AdvancePCS, finalized a merger with Caremark Rx, another pharmaceutical services company. The merger does not affect U-M pharmacy benefits. Faculty, staff and retirees in the AdvancePCS plan can continue to use the same prescription drug cards at the same network pharmacies. While Caremark plans to integrate the two companies over time, all existing mailing addresses, including claims, remain the same. Mail-order pharmacy services are unaffected. For more information on the merger, visit

U-M participates in pharmacy benefits study

Researchers from the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago and the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University recently visited U-M as part of a study of several large U.S. employers. Sponsored by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC)—an organization that advises Congress on issues affecting Medicare—researchers are gathering information on how organizations move from health insurance-managed pharmacy plans to a single pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). U-M successfully made that transition in 2003 when Advance PCS became the University's PBM.

During their visit to Ann Arbor March 4, researchers interviewed managers who planned and implemented the transition to the University's prescription drug plan, interviewed union representatives, and conducted small focus groups with randomly selected retirees and faculty and staff members.

The aggregate data collected at the University will be included in the MedPAC report, which will help advise Congress as it prepares to add a new pharmaceutical drug benefit under Medicare.

Thayer and Thompson structures go AVI

Gate control using Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) will be activated in the Thayer Street parking structure (N4) April 5 and the Thompson Street parking structure (W3) April 12. Permit holders entering the structures during enforcement hours will need an AVI device or swipe card to activate the gates. AVI devices may be obtained by exchanging existing permits weekdays at the Parking Services office at 508 Thompson (except Tuesdays 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.). For added convenience, a courtesy satellite sale site for the Thayer activation will be held in room 1081 of the Frieze Building 8 a.m.-3 p.m. April 5. Permit holders will need to present their current permit and a refundable $20 deposit to receive a device. Additional information about the AVI system can be viewed at

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