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MinuteClinic, Main Line Health ink clinical collaboration

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and RADNOR, Pa. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic and Main Line Health have signed a clinical collaboration to enhance access to high-quality healthcare services at MinuteClinic locations in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Under the agreement, physicians from Main Line Health’s multi-specialty physician network, with more than 2,000 doctors, will serve as collaborating physicians for MinuteClinic locations in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. The collaboration will include future clinics as part of MinuteClinic’s national expansion plan to add 150 new clinics this year and reach a total of 1,500 clinics in the United States by 2017.

In addition, MinuteClinic and Main Line Health will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiative, and will inform patients of the services each offer.

"Main Line Health is recognized nationally for delivering high-quality care and joins MinuteClinic in our commitment to bring more accessible and affordable medical services to patients in Southeastern Pennsylvania," said Andrew Sussman, president, MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark.  "We look forward to having Main Line Health physicians collaborate with MinuteClinic’s nurse practitioners to provide quality support, teaching and back-up so MinuteClinic can provide the best care at the lowest overall cost."

"Main Line Health is committed to making health care as accessible as possible for our communities," said Jack Lynch, president and CEO of Main Line Health. "Engaging in this new partnership ensures our community has access to basic care when and where they need it, and, when more advanced care is necessary, our Main Line Health team will be available to provide appropriate treatment and an exceptional patient experience."

MinuteClinic and Main Line Health will begin to work toward integrating electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual’s care. With patient permission, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with other facilities and physicians for an individual’s continuity of care. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent. 

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Reports: Target CIO resigns in wake of data breach

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — In the wake of a huge data breach just before the Christmas holiday, Target’s CIO Beth Jacob is resigning, according to published reports.

According to a New York Times report, which cites a statement released to the Associated Press, the move is effective Wednesday and the company will look for an interim CIO.

In addition, Target has indicated that it also will look outside of the company for a chief information security officer and a chief compliance officer.

As previously reported, Target experienced during the fourth quarter a data breach in which an intruder gained unauthorized access to its network and stole certain payment card and other guest information. The company incurred $17 million of net expense in the fourth quarter, reflecting $61 million of total expenses partially offset by the recognition of a $44 million insurance receivable. These expenses include, but aren’t limited to, costs related to investigating the breach, offering credit-monitoring and identity theft protection services to guests and increased staffing in its call centers.

Looking to fiscal 2014, the company noted that it is not able to estimate future expenses related to the data breach.

 

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Kroger ups commitment to Dallas market

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS — Kroger on Wednesday lowered prices on thousands of food and household items and renewed an emphasis on shopping experience, fuel discounts, local products and community relations in the Dallas market, the retailer announced. Within the next two years, Kroger will build six new stores and expand three locations, along with opening multiple fuel centers and remodeling existing properties in the North Texas area. 

"We’re a strong brand and company but we’ve achieved that status because we’re always looking for improvement opportunities. Kroger currently serves 662,000 households every week in the North Texas market with 86 locations and we continue to expand those numbers," stated Bill Breetz, president of Kroger Southwest. "We know that price is important to every customer, and at times, can be a deciding factor where to shop. With our Refresh initiative, we’re making a multi-million dollar investment to reduce prices across the store and reengaging our employees to offer highly-satisfied customer service."

Through the new investment, Kroger has lowered prices on items customers purchase most frequently ranging from fruits and vegetables to grocery and household staples. National and private label brands are included in the price reduction.

Along with new lower prices, Kroger will continue to help shoppers maximize their savings by accepting valid print coupons, and digital coupons that are downloadable at Kroger.com and through the Kroger mobile app. Kroger also helps customers save by offering discounted pricing for 30- and 90-day generic drug prescriptions, providing a daily 25% discount on cosmetics and giving a 10% wine discount when shoppers purchase six bottles or more.

In response to customer feedback, Kroger has installed new technology that allows stores to deliver a faster checkout experience. With the new Refresh initiative, Kroger is recommitting to making customers’ time a priority, the grocer stated. To enhance the shopping experience, Kroger is striving to have more registers open, especially during peak shopping times, to keep shoppers’ wait time to a minimum.

The company also announced Kroger Community Rewards, a new $1.5 million fundraising program that supports schools, non-profits and faith-based groups. Organizations and their supporters can enroll in the program using their Kroger Plus Card to earn funds. Every time an enrolled customer shops, they help their charity of choice raise money. 

 

 

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