PHARMACY

Editorial suggests employees use retail-based clinics to save money

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Employers can help mend health care and curb soaring costs by encouraging employees to use retail-based health clinics and establishing worksite health clinics at corporate offices at plants, Clayton Christensen and Jason Hwang suggested in an editorial that ran in the Wall Street Journal.

Christensen and Hwang are co-authors of “The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care.” Christensen is co-founder of Innosight Institute, a non-for-profit think tank for which Hwang is executive director of healthcare. In addition, Hwang is a former physician at Kaiser Permanente.

In the WSJ article, Christensen and Hwang suggest that the burden of funding and managing healthcare can create an “opportunity for remarkable innovation” if business leaders take a more proactive role.

They recommend that executives make one or more of the three changes: 1) encourage employees to use in-store health clinics for common ailments; 2) set up worksite health clinics; 3) and partner with integrated health systems.To encourage employees to visit retail-based clinics for the treatment of common ailments, Christensen and Hwang urge companies to demand coverage of the visits from their health plans and to offer discounts to employees. In those states where regulations bar nurses from operating such clinics without doctors, they urge companies to lobby to overturn such restrictions.

Christensen and Hwang also point out in the article that there’s “a vanguard of employers who have taken dramatic steps to involve themselves much more deeply in their employees’ health” by establishing worksite health clinics.

One example mentioned in the WSJ piece is Perdue Farms, which set up its own clinics and contracts directly with healthcare providers instead of negotiating with insurers. There’s also Quad/Graphics, a printing company in Wisconsin that operates its own on-site clinic, and now operates clinics for Briggs & Stratton and Miller Brewing.

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Cardinal Health names new CIO

BY Allison Cerra

DUBLIN, Ohio Cardinal Health announced the appointment of Patricia Morrison as chief information officer, effective Aug. 3.

Morrison, 50, will be responsible for the company’s enterprise-wide information technology infrastructure and will work to enhance the infrastructure to support Cardinal Health’s strategic business needs. She will report to George Barrett, who will become chairman and CEO of Cardinal Health following the planned spinoff of its clinical and medical products businesses.

Morrison has served as CIO at Motorola, Inc., where she oversaw all strategic, operational and functional aspects of the company’s information technology in 140 countries. Her previous experience also includes CIO of Office Depot, Inc.; and senior-level information technology positions at General Electric, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble and The Quaker Oats Co.

Morrison is replacing Jody Davids, who decided to step away from the CIO role to take time off to pursue personal interests.

“We’re very pleased to have someone of Patricia’s caliber joining the Cardinal Health leadership team,” Barrett said. “Her significant experience with systems in large, complex organizations positions her perfectly to execute the long-term IT strategy Jody and her team have developed in support of our company.”

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Jewel-Osco to launch retail clinic with help of Physicians Prompt Care Centers

BY Michael Johnsen

FRANKLIN PARK, Ill. Jewel-Osco, a Midwest food and drug retailer, has partnered with Tinley Park-based Physicians Prompt Care Centers to launch Physicians Prompt Care Express, the Supervalu chain announced Wednesday.

Board-certified Prompt Care Express physicians will offer high-quality, convenient and affordable medical services from a newly-constructed health clinic inside of the Jewel-Osco, marking Jewel-Osco’s first point of entry into Chicago’s retail medical clinic business. It establishes the second ambulatory care site operated by Prompt Care Physician Centers LLC. 

“Jewel-Osco is proud to partner with Physicians Prompt Care Centers to bring a unique health care experience to Orland Park and the surrounding communities,” stated Chris Dimos, president, Jewel-Osco Pharmacies.  “Access to quality and affordable health care is one of the top issues facing our communities today.  In integrating the new medical clinic into our store, we aim to eliminate some of the barriers – like cost, work and school schedules, and even proximity – that can block our customers’ ability to receive needed medial attention.“ Physicians Prompt Care Express will accept most major insurance plans including Medicare.  Cash paying customers can expect to pay less than the total cost of a typical hospital emergency room visit.

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