HEALTH

H-E-B launches comprehensive nutrition program for customers

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — In its commitment to helping customers create healthier habits and fight obesity and diabetes, H-E-B on Thursday partnered with the American Diabetes Association to announce the launch of H-E-B Nutrition Services. Registered dietitians and nutritionists will be in select stores throughout Texas providing affordable nutrition education and care, including private one-on-one consultations, grocery shopping tours, cooking demonstrations, group health classes, kids cooking classes, “lunch and learn” sessions and disease management classes.
 
The program is designed to help educate Texans based upon their individual health and nutrition needs. Currently, H-E-B is accepting Medicare, Humana and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance for these health-based services, with even more insurance providers slated to join by 2015.
 
“As soon as customers walk through our doors, they begin making decisions that most impact their health and that of their family. Nutrition Services is a way for H-E-B to further assist Texans when making healthy choices for themselves and their families,” said Kate Rogers, H-E-B VP engagement. “From individuals and employers to medical professionals and their patients, this new line of services can be tailored to fit each of our customer’s distinctive needs.”
 
H-E-B’s nutrition experts also will be available upon request for off-site group nutrition events such as health classes, cooking demonstrations, speaking events and training.
 
The launch of H-E-B Nutrition Services coincides with American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association’s current “America Gets Cooking to Stop Diabetes” campaign.
 
“Nearly 30 million Americans have diabetes, with nearly 2 million new cases diagnosed each year,” said Tiffani Nair, ADA director of mission delivery and communications. “Because of this staggering statistic, we are proud to partner with H-E-B for the launch of a program that aims to combat this trend and inspires people to live a healthier lifestyle, starting with their food choices.”
 
Nutrition Services start as low as $20 per person and vary in price depending on the level of guidance and information, both for individuals and groups. Free offerings include group grocery store tours, product sampling and in-store community events.
 
In honor of National Diabetes Month, H-E-B also will offer a 20% discount on all Nutrition Services through the month of November, as well as a 50% discount on Diabetes Awareness classes and shopping tours at various H-E-B stores across the state. 
 
Customers eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be offered a discount on select services within the program. Coupons for discounts on specific products will be available to all customers within the participating store in their area, and will vary as supplies last.
 
“Whether you are trying to manage a disease or just want to learn how to more effectively shop for your health, our nutrition experts are available to help each customer reach their individual goals through both free and paid services within the program,” said Stacy Bates, H-E-B registered dietitian program manager.
 
In addition to the H-E-B Nutrition Services program, H-E-B will continue to offer free and/or low-cost health screenings and immunizations at all store pharmacy locations on the second Saturday of each month. H-E-B Pharmacists can help customers manage their diabetes with free glucose and A1c screenings, as well as information to better determine a treatment and/or prevention plan.
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Survey: Choice of at least three blood-glucose meters drives patient satisfaction

BY Michael Johnsen

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — It is a common practice for adults with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes to receive an offer for a free blood-glucose meter from manufacturers. However, satisfaction is significantly higher among meter users who are offered a choice from a selection of at least three free meter models than among those who are not offered a choice, according to the J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction Study.
 
Overall, 38% of meter users indicated having had multiple meters to choose from when they acquired their meter. 
 
Overall satisfaction with blood-glucose meters improves to 823, up 10 points from 2013, attributed to increases in satisfaction with design, features and cost of test strips. While 30% of users indicate that the primary reason for selecting their meter is that it was free, 77% overall do not pay for their meter. There is no difference in satisfaction between meter users who receive a free meter (826) and those who pay for one (827).
 
"Because of the disparate preferences among meter users, choice is a very important driver of satisfaction," said Rick Johnson, director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power. "There is no single design that can satisfy everyone, so manufacturers need to offer a full range of models, from meters with basic functions to those with the latest interactive features, innovations and technologies. By offering a choice of at least three free meter models and communicating that this choice is available, manufacturers are more likely to improve user satisfaction and brand loyalty."
 
More than one-fourth (26%) of blood-glucose meter users indicate that ease of using test strips was an important reason why they selected their particular model. Satisfaction with cost of test strips has improved to 741 in 2014 from 695 in 2013. When meter users select a meter based on lancet size, satisfaction is 75 points higher, on average, than when selection is not based on lancet size.
 
While a doctor's office remains the most common location to obtain a meter (23%), meter users have increasingly obtained their device during the past two years from a drug store (18% in 2014 vs. 12% in 2012) or mass merchandiser (13% in 2014 vs. 8% in 2012).
 
Bayer ranks highest in satisfaction with a score of 843, performing particularly well in meter performance, ease of use, design, features and cost of test strips. LifeScan (835) ranks second, followed by Abbott Laboratories (827) and Roche Diagnostics (823).
 
The study measures customer satisfaction with blood-glucose meters based on six factors (in order of importance): performance (26%), ease of use (24%), design (20%), features (19%), cost of test strips (6%) and training (5%). Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.
 
The 2014 U.S. Blood Glucose Meter Satisfaction Study is based on responses from 2,024 blood glucose meter users with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The study was fielded in September 2014.
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Shop Your Way partners with Kmart Pharmacy on new health-and-wellness online resource

BY Michael Johnsen

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. — Shop Your Way, a free membership program and social shopping community, on Thursday announced the launch of a new health-and-wellness online resource called Shop Your Way Health. Shop Your Way members are now able to discover, share and shop with access to the latest health-and-wellness information online and via mobile and receive rewards and discounts from dozens of partners, including Kmart Pharmacy, Care.com, Everyday Health, Vitals and Amwell. 
 
"Shop Your Way Health provides our members with a wide variety of health-and-wellness content, information and associated products so they can make better health decisions," said Eric Jaffe, SVP Shop Your Way. "Members will benefit from the tools and services that they can access, and combined with assistance from our Kmart pharmacists, it is truly a gateway to all things health."
 
The Shop Your Way Health site, shopyourwayhealth.com, is focused on three main areas: Shop, Discover and Talk. As members continue to use and visit the site, they will get increasingly personalized experiences, including articles and videos from leading health publishers and originally created shopper's guides with tips about the products and services applicable to their health interests and goals and keep their health records organized with Microsoft HealthVault.
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