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Are the final chapters of the age of big-box retailing upon us?

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — DSN noted that 2012 would be the year more big-box retailers committed to “going small” and, while we may hate to toot our own horn, we are going to do it anyway.

(THE NEWS: Supercenters rule, but small formats to accelerate for Walmart. For the full story, click here)

As previously reported by Drug Store News, such big box retailers as Walmart, Target and Meijer have developed smaller-format stores, and we predicted at the end of 2011 that the industry would see this trend continue into 2012, especially as retailers look to further meet the needs of consumers residing in “food deserts.”

Well, that prediction is ringing true.

Earlier this year, Target unveiled its new, smaller urban format — dubbed CityTarget — that would enable it to become a factor in the big cities. Now WMT is committing to more small stores over the next few years. By year end, Walmart expects to be operating a total of 12 Express stores.

With trips to supercenters down in recent years, do you think these are the final chapters of the age of big-box retailing?
 

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Walmart expands employee healthcare to cover spine, transplant surgery

BY Gail Hoffer

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has launched a first-of-its-kind Centers of Excellence program that will offer its associates quality health care with no out-of-pocket cost for heart, spine and transplant surgeries at six of the leading hospital and health systems in the United States.

The six designated health care organizations include the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio; Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa.; Mayo Clinic sites in Rochester, Minn., Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla.; Mercy Hospital Springfield in Springfield, Mo; Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas; and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

"We devoted extensive time developing Centers of Excellence in order to improve the quality of care our associates’ receive," said Sally Welborn, SVP global benefits at Walmart. "We have identified six renowned health care systems that meet the highest quality standards for heart, spine and transplant surgery. Through these hospital systems, our associates will have no out-of-pocket expenses and a greater peace of mind knowing they are receiving exceptional care from a facility that specializes in the procedure they require.  This is the first time a retailer has offered a comprehensive, nationwide program for heart, spine and transplant surgery."

The new Centers of Excellence program is being expanded from covering transplants, which began with the Mayo Clinic in 1996, to include treatment for certain heart and spine surgeries. Walmart’s associates and their dependents who are enrolled in the company’s medical plans will receive consultations and care covered at 100 percent without deductible or coinsurance, plus travel, lodging and food for the patient and a caregiver.

In providing this service at no cost to its enrolled associates, Walmart has worked with these Centers of Excellence health systems to provide exclusive and unique bundled pricing arrangements for these types of procedures. Through Centers of Excellence, Walmart is working with all the health care organizations to collectively share best practices that will allow collaboration around best measures of service and new industry findings in comparison to industry practices.

 

 

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E-prescribing: Patients want it

BY Antoinette Alexander

When given a choice, patients prefer to receive an electronic prescription if they receive a prescription from their physician, according to the most recent Patient Views infographic. To be specific, 64% of respondents said they would choose an e-prescription when provided an option, according to an exclusive survey of nearly 800 patients conducted by AccentHealth and DSN in late July and early August. How many patients are actually given a choice as to how they receive their prescription, and how many currently are receiving electronic prescriptions? Currently, only 36% of patients said they are given a choice as to how they receive their prescription.

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that will be appear in every edition of DSN magazine and the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to reder@lf.com.

Do you prefer receiving electronic prescriptions over handwritten ones?

Source: AccentHealth. To view the methodology, click here.

 

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