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Cardtronics extends ATM services agreement with Walgreens

BY Michael Johnsen

HOUSTON — Cardtronics has extended its ATM services agreement with Walgreens, the company announced Wednesday. Cardtronics is a preferred provider of ATM services for Walgreens.  

Since the relationship began in 2004, Cardtronics has grown its ATM presence in Walgreens locations significantly — from fewer than 400 initially to roughly 3,250 today. The company is also the exclusive ATM provider for Walgreens in many states across the U.S.

Along with the relationship renewal, Cardtronics will support the new Walgreens Balance Financial prepaid program. Balance Financial cardholders can access their cash, surcharge-free, by using the ATMs at Walgreens stores. Offering access to cash through surcharge-free ATM access for its Balance Financial cardholders is part of Walgreens’ commitment to providing convenience for consumers.

"Cardtronics is continuing to make life easier for Walgreens customers through convenient access to cash, ultimately helping to drive traffic to its stores," stated Rick Updyke, president of Cardtronics’ North America Business Group. "This level of convenience is also why the company is a popular branding partner for many of Cardtronics’ financial institution clients, allowing them to meet their own customers’ and members’ needs in well-known, premium locations."

 

 

 

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Diab to head up health and wellness at Walmart

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Labeed Diab has been named SVP and president health and wellness at Walmart, filling a position previously held by Dr. John Agwunobi, who left the company.

Diab previous served as SVP pharmacy operations for Walmart’s Midwest division, and was based in Chicago. He joined the company in 2009 as a director of operations. He began his career as a pharmacy manager with American Stores, and also served in regional and divisional operations roles with CVS Caremark and Rite Aid. He graduated with a bachelor of science in pharmacy and a minor in business administration from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

“The passion and commitment to our customers Labeed has will ensure we continue to accelerate our health and wellness growth in the future, helping even more Americans get access to high quality, innovative and affordable healthcare solutions,” Walmart chief merchandising officer Duncan Mac Naughton said in an internal announcement. “Our health and wellness business is an important category for our customers and our company, and we are committed to investing for future growth.”

Diab fills a position previously held by Agwunobi who came to be known affectionately at Walmart as Dr. John. He joined the company in September 2007 and during his tenure played a key role in developing health and wellness solutions that significantly lowered the cost of healthcare for millions of Americans, according to Mac Naughton.

“He made enhancements to the prescription program, which drove down prescription medication costs and provided ongoing savings through our pharmacy offerings,” Mac Naughton said. “And he has continued to drive innovation in the space by testing new concepts that position Walmart well for the future. Now, as the face of healthcare in America continues to change, he’s looking forward to exploring and engaging in other areas in the field.”

Labeed has a strong background in operations and health care and during his leadership of the company’s Midwest division Walmart was able to penetrate Chicago with small format concept stores, according to the announcement.

 

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Study: Affordable, quality health care tops list of consumer concerns

BY Antoinette Alexander

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Access to good and affordable health care is the No. 1 concern of Americans today, trumping national security, national debt, improving the quality of education, gun violence and protecting privacy rights, according to a survey recently conducted for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

The survey, conducted by Morpace Market Research and Consulting, captured opinions from 1,000 consumers across the United States ages 21 years to 64 years old with health insurance. Respondents answered questions about different types of healthcare providers, access and cost. Significant findings include:

  • More than 50% of consumers believe there are not enough physicians to provide health care;
  • More than 40% are concerned about being able to get appointments when they need them;
  • More than 41% experience long wait times in the doctor’s office;
  • More than 20% are treated but not educated about their health care; and
  • More than 94% are willing to be seen by a physician assistant instead of a physician.

While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is designed to improve access for the previously uninsured or underinsured, this survey shows that those who already have health insurance are concerned about what the future holds, with almost half (47.3%) expecting their healthcare costs to increase, and 51% indicating they believe there will be too few healthcare providers to meet patients’ needs over the coming decade.

“Improving the affordability of health insurance for the previously uninsured is clearly an admirable aim, but as millions of newly insured begin to seek more care and as the boomers continue to age and consume more healthcare services, people are understandably worried that there will not be a doctor readily available when they need one,” said NCCPA board chairman James Cannon. “Certified physician assistants are a big part of solving the issue of access to health care, as they can do most things a doctor can do. As more patients enter the market seeking health care, PAs are well positioned to meet these demands by providing high-quality care and educating patients on how to best manage and improve their own health.”

“The model for health care going forward is to deliver the right care at the right time at the right cost,” Cannon said. “Certified physician assistants are key players in this complex equation, delivering quality patient care and cost-effective outcomes in every specialty and clinical setting in the United States.”

When asked what factors are most important when considering to whom to entrust their health care, the most often cited responses mentioned qualifications, certification, knowledge and competence. Other often-cited factors included willingness to listen, communication skills and availability.

 

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