RETAIL NEWS

McKesson unveils Health Mart Atlas, a 6,600-strong PSAO

BY Michael Johnsen

McKesson on Thursday unveiled the largest network of community pharmacies to be called Health Mart Atlas. The San Francisco-based wholesaler has created the network out of McKesson AccessHealth and American Pharmacy Cooperative’s American Pharmacy Network Solutions. The new joint venture will manage core PSAO services, including third-party PBM and payor contracting, credentialing, central pay and MAC pricing appeals for community pharmacy, including all current AccessHealth and APNS members.

With the new joint venture, more than 6,600 pharmacies will take advantage of being a member of the nation’s largest PSAO.

“Health Mart Atlas is one more way McKesson is delivering on our commitment to community pharmacies,” Chris Dimos, president, Retail Solutions, McKesson Corporation, said. “These pharmacies are an important part of the communities they serve and they put the patient at the center of everything they do. Our model supports what community pharmacists do best, which is delivering better patient care.”

“Health Mart Atlas was created to support the success of community pharmacies given the challenges they face today – lower reimbursements, narrow networks, industry consolidation and a general sense of uncertainty. The strength of Health Mart Atlas ensures that community pharmacies are included in the right networks to continue to provide quality care to patients and perform to their highest potential as the industry evolves to value-based care models,” Eyad Farah, vice president and general manager, Health Mart Atlas, said. “We’re committed to maintaining the largest network of high performing pharmacies because we believe that when patients are given a choice, they will choose the superior care and personal touch they receive from community pharmacists.”

Health Mart Atlas is focused on making managed care easier for community pharmacy by helping to identify opportunities that are right for their needs, and giving pharmacies the time to focus on those opportunities. Health Mart Atlas also provides key partnerships with vendors such as EQuIPP, Mirixa, PrescribeWellness and RelayHealth Pharmacy to provide access to tools and solutions designed to help improve pharmacy performance.

“We are excited to join with McKesson in this joint venture to continue to level the playing field for community pharmacies,” Tim Hamrick, chief executive officer, APCI, said. “With Health Mart Atlas, our combined expertise and the strength of the Health Mart brand will help independent pharmacies across the nation face the challenges of the managed care marketplace.”

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Walmart continues to expand in-store ‘Pickup Towers’

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is expanding its modern-day — and oversized — version of a vending machine — but the new model will come with an addition.

The discounter plans to add more than 500 additional “pickup towers” to stores across the country, bringing the total to more than 700 by the end of the year. Walmart said the response to the existing 200 kiosks has been “overwhelmingly positive,” with more than half a million orders retrieved since the chain first introduced them.

Based on customer feedback, the new towers will come with pickup lockers, which will allow customers to retrieve large items, such as TVs.

“Our customers have been clear: They love the Pickup Tower. But, they also told us they wanted the ability to retrieve larger items the same way,” stated Walmart in a blog on its website.

The pickup tower — which stands 16 ft. tall and about 8 ft. wide — greets shoppers at store entrances. After placing their online order, customers receive a barcode on their digital receipt. Upon entering the store, customers scan their barcode via their smartphone on the kiosk’s digital scanner to retrieve their order. The process takes less than a minute.

With the expansion, pickup towers will be available to nearly 40% of the U.S. population, Walmart said.

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Shoppers Drug Mart reveals next Wellwise location

BY DSN STAFF

After previously announcing it would be expanding its Wellwise concept with an e-commerce extension, Shoppers Drug Mart has unveiled a second location for the chain.

Wellwise’s new store will be located in Etobicoke, Canada, and products offered at the location will cover everything from sleep therapy to low-impact fitness, physiotherapy, supports, braces, tools and gadgets for everyday living.

Unique to this location will be full-sized lifestyle vignettes, where residents can through a model bathroom, bedroom, living room and garage to try out products and see how it would fit into their everyday lives. Another new feature coming to the location is an innovation space where consumers can try out new products that have not yet hit the market. There also will be a community room for associations and experts to run education events.

Shoppers Drug Mart’s new Wellwise location will open on April 7.

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