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Blog: Kroger tests marketing fuel point awards in exchange for transferred prescriptions

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — Kroger is test-marketing the giving of 1,000 "fuel points" toward discounted gas for each transferred prescription vs. the traditional $25 Kroger gift card, according to a blog published on the Houston Chronicle website Wednesday. 

"Still a good deal, but probably worth $15 or $20 for an average fill-up (and it’s probably best to pull up to the pump near empty). If you drive an SUV or one of those double-tank pickups — or a Hummer — you’ll save as much as $35 because the discount is good for up to 35 gallons," observed blogger Cindy George. "The current transferred-prescription promotion offering 1,000 fuel points is a pilot program Kroger has been testing in the Houston market since November. The experiment continues through this month."

The promotion requires the transferred prescription to be filled and purchased at least once at a competing pharmacy, George reported. 

 

 

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Report: Global telehealth market to boom by 2018

BY Michael Johnsen

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — The global telehealth market is expected to grow by more than a factor of 10 from 2013 to 2018, as medical providers increasingly employ remote communications and monitoring technology to reduce costs and improve the quality of care, according to a report published last week by IHS Technology.

Worldwide revenue for telehealth devices and services is expected to reach $4.5 billion in 2018, up from $440.6 million in 2013, based on data from an IHS report entitled “World Market for Telehealth – 2014 Edition.” The number of patients using telehealth services will rise to 7 million in 2018, up from less than 350,000 in 2013.

“Amid rising expenses, an aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, the healthcare industry must change the way it operates,” Roeen Roashan, medical devices and digital health analyst at IHS Technology, stated. “Telehealth represents an attractive solution to these challenges, increasing the quality of care while reducing overall healthcare expenditures.”

Results from telehealth programs reveal sharp decreases in readmission rates and mortality rates, alongside increases in adherence through patient engagement. These benefits make a strong business case for telehealth and will result in greater reimbursement from regulatory bodies. As a result, providers will integrate telehealth into their healthcare delivery.

In particular, the introduction of mobile health hubs is boosting the market, lowering the cost of telehealth while increasing overall value propositions.  

Telehealth is especially helpful in managing the chronic conditions of those aged 65 and older in the face of all-time-high levels of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Telehealth also offers scalable healthcare in a cost-efficient way at a time of increasing pressure on the healthcare sector for personnel and resources. 

While telehealth mainly has been applied to post-acute patients, providers are now looking to monitor the health of entire populations. This process, called population health management, is further expanding the total available market for telehealth. 

Other factors that will benefit the expansion of telehealth include the anticipated growth in wearable technology and the quantified self within a connected home context, aimed at developing a sustainable platform for preventive care.

 

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Walmart Foundation’s Colorado State Giving Program awards $321,000 to eight nonprofits

BY Michael Johnsen

DENVER — The Walmart Foundation’s Colorado State Giving Program has awarded $321,000 to eight Colorado nonprofits that are helping to fund local programs to improve education, women’s economic empowerment and healthy eating, as well as to fight hunger. The organizations include We Don’t Waste, Lapuente Home, Care and Share, Kids Aid, Project Angel Heart, Women’s Resource Agency, Broadway Assistance Center and Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado. 

“When businesses take their responsibility to the community seriously everybody wins,” Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said. "We are fortunate that many businesses, like Walmart, partner with nonprofits across the state. Working together we are helping to make a difference and improve the lives of all Coloradans." 

"Walmart is proud to support the efforts of these phenomenal organizations that make a huge impact in communities throughout Colorado," stated Ben Hassing, SVP Walmart. "Through State Giving Program, Walmart is able to donate funds directly to local organizations that, in turn, assist people who have the greatest need in our communities from providing nutritious food to the underserved to giving women in need help in becoming self sufficient to aiding those with disabilities."

In 2012, the Walmart Foundation and stores throughout the state awarded more than $14.3 million in cash and in-kind contributions to community groups that are positioned to address the needs of Colorado communities.

 

 

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