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Consumers prepared to slow spending

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK — Nearly three-quarters of Americans surveyed by Deloitte said higher prices could slow their spending in the upcoming months.

The newest survey of 1,050 consumers found that 74% of consumers believed higher prices could curb their spending, with 7-out-of-10 (71%) concerned about rising energy prices and nearly half (47%) attributing reduced spending to higher medical costs.

With this, many consumers have turned to mobile and social media connections to help with their buying decisions. For example, 27% of consumers surveyed said stores are offering more value for their money, down from nearly half (45%) of consumers who said so at this time last year. This has prompted about 60% of respondents to search more online to get the best product or price. Among survey respondents who own a Web-enabled smartphone (32%), Deloitte found that:

  • More than 4-out-of-10 consumers (43%) said they have used it specifically in a store to assist in their shopping; and

  • 37% of consumers wanted to use their phones while in a store but couldn’t because of connectivity issues.

Deloitte noted that 40% of all consumers surveyed interact with retailers through social networking sites to find out about promotions, browse products or review recommendations.

Deloitte also discovered that the younger generations more likely will turn to their mobile devices and social networks to assist with their shopping:

  • Among survey respondents that are at least 45 years old, 56% said they search more online to find the best product or price;

  • More than one-quarter (29%) of respondents at least 45 years old connected with retailers via social networking sites;

  • One-third (31%) of consumers surveyed under the age of 45 years expected their favorite retailers to provide them with access to information through applications, social media or mobile alerts; and

  • 1-out-of-6 (17%) respondents ages 45 years or older expected retailers to do so.

"The recession has redefined the consumer’s relationship with retailers, and social and mobile applications have accelerated this change," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail sector leader at Deloitte. "Consumers are making more deliberate, informed decisions using a variety of tools and data. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for retailers to enhance both the in-store and online experience — knitting those together in a compelling way to build shopper loyalty."

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Brad Blake joins Emerson

BY Allison Cerra

WAYNE, Pa. — The Emerson Group announced that former Actavis executive Brad Blake has joined the company.

Blake will focus on Actavis, an Emerson client, and its business to continue the current strong relationship between the two companies. Additionally, Blake also will concentrate on other private-label business for Emerson and be responsible for Publix, Winn-Dixie and Dollar Tree.

Brad has been in the consumer packaged goods and over-the-counter business since 1982.

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MinuteClinic’s latest affiliation highlights growing need for medical homes

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — The news that CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has entered into a clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners is important as it reflects a larger focus within the U.S. healthcare landscape: medical homes, or for a growing number of Americans, the lack thereof.

(THE NEWS: MinuteClinic enters clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care, Advocate Physician Partners. For the full story, click here)

Physicians affiliated with Advocate Physician Partners will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic’s 23 locations in the Chicago metro area and in Bloomington, Ill. In addition, MinuteClinic and Advocate Health Care will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers.

Important, Advocate Physician Partners physicians also will, where appropriate, accept patients who need a higher level of care than MinuteClinic can provide.

In other words, this collaboration allows Advocate physicians to provide a medical home for those patients who seek care at MinuteClinic and do not have a relationship with a physician.

Establishing a medical home for patients who do not have a primary care physician is critical and clearly represents a significant opportunity for retail-based clinics.

According to Deloitte’s "2010 Survey of Health Care Consumers Key Findings, Strategic Implications," more than half of the uninsured (57%) do not have a primary care physician; 85% cite cost and/or coverage as reasons. The uninsured are more likely than the insured to use a retail clinic to save time (34% vs. 28%) or money (45% vs. 32%).

The need to establish medical homes increasingly is becoming clear and it is not going unnoticed as the convenient care industry has increasingly seen the formation of such affiliations as that of MinuteClinic and Advocate.

Expect to see even more going forward.

In an earlier interview, Ken Berndt, director of FastCare, told Drug Store News that he believed much of the growth going forward will stem from hospital systems jumping aboard the clinic bandwagon.

"Hospital systems are continuing to look to expand the medical home and retail clinics are a large contribution to expanding the medical home for the primary care groups in health systems," Berndt said. "I think you are going to see health systems do the bulk of the growth."

Bellin Health Systems established the FastCare brand of retail health clinics in 2006.

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JEngdahlJ says:
Apr-18-2011 07:30 pm

Medical homes face a public awareness problem. The solution? Scenarios that work. http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=2880

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