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Airport-based clinics really taking off: AeroClinic flies into Philly; rival-Harmony taps former Walgreens exec as new CEO

BY Antoinette Alexander

PHILADELPHIA Clinic operator AeroClinic has announced the opening of its second airport-based health clinic at Philadelphia International Airport.

AeroClinic opened in May 2007 its first clinic at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Located in the A/B Link, the AeroClinic facility is available for travelers and airport workers in need of minor ill-care and well-care treatment. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants staff the clinic and see patients in 15-minute increments on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Only one-third of Americans get to see their doctor on the day they are ill, resulting in a major inconvenience for air travelers, especially those en route to an unfamiliar city,” stated Rosemary Kelly, chief marketing officer for AeroClinic. “We provide a quick, convenient, affordable solution for passengers and airport employees who are not feeling well.”

In recent years, airport-based healthcare clinics have started to take flight.

In March 2007, Harmony Pharmacy & Health Center opened its first location in New Jersey at Newark Liberty International Airport. It has since opened a location at JFK International and one off-airport site in Greenwich, Conn.

It has also won site locations at several other domestic airports: two sites at Dallas/Fort Worth International; Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International; and Cleveland Hopkins International. According to Harmony’s Web site, these locations are expected to open in the first half of 2009. Originally slated for a late 2008 opening is a clinic at San Francisco International airport.

In other company news, Harmony Pharmacy & Health Center announced in October the appointment of former Walgreens executive Michael Tovian as its president and CEO. Tovian succeeded Kenneth Corroon, Harmony’s original CEO, who remains a shareholder in addition to serving as a member of its board.

During Tovian’s 27-year career at Walgreens, he managed more than $20 billion of profit and loss responsibility as VP of managed care sales and contracting. Previous to his managed care role, Tovian served as VP of Walgreens’ store operations in the Puerto Rico and southern Florida markets.

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Save Mart registers now incorporating healthcare purchases

BY Michael Johnsen

MODESTO, Calif. Save Mart Supermarkets last month updated all registers in stores with pharmacies to itemize eligible healthcare purchases under flexible spending account agreements, the chain announced.

Save Mart Supermarkets operates 115 pharmacies — 64 in Save Mart stores, 47 in Lucky stores and 4 in S-Mart Foods stores.

“The new FSA debit cards are a convenient way to monitor and pay for eligible medical expenses,” stated Michele Snider, senior director of pharmacy for Save Mart Supermarkets. “Patients who have FSAs for medical expenses should take full advantage of their benefits by accessing them before they expire for this calendar year, and our pharmacies now are ready to help them beat their year-end deadlines.” 

Save Mart Supermarkets operates nearly 250 stores throughout Northern California and  Northern Nevada under the Save Mart, S-Mart Foods, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners.

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Take Care coupons offered for popular flu season products

BY Antoinette Alexander

CONSHOCKEN, Pa. Amid the current economic turmoil, Take Care Health Systems is promoting its quality and cost-effective healthcare service this flu season through a Winter Promotional Program that runs through the end of March.

The program, which kicked off in January, is taking place at all 327 Take Care Clinics nationwide, the company announced on Tuesday. It coincides with the height of the cold, cough and flu season. Under the program, first-time visitors are eligible to receive a $50 coupon book redeemable for select Walgreens merchandise including cold medicine, facial tissue and hand sanitizer. 

“Consumers who seek care are looking more closely for ways to reduce the overall costs of treatment,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Many of those cost-conscious consumers are sacrificing quality or a satisfying patient experience.” 

Citing a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Take Care stated that 22% of consumers said that the ailing economy was causing them to see the doctor less. In an effort to save money, about 11% said they?ve scaled back on prescription drugs or reduced the dosage of those drugs to make them last longer. 

“With an increasing number of families and individuals in America forced to make tough choices when it comes to spending, health care should not be something that suffers,” stated Peter Miller, president and CEO of Take Care Health Systems. “Now more than ever, the care offered at Take Care Clinics is an excellent option for patients as they look to save on cost, without having to compromise the quality of their health or the care they receive.” 

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