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Motley Fool: RAD’s ‘great comeback’ continues with Health Alliance pilot

BY Antoinette Alexander

CAMP HILL, Pa. — While the upswing in Rite Aid’s bottom line and shares continue to gain attention, Motley Fool’s consumer goods analyst Sean O’Reilly suggests that the pharmacy retailer has “an even bigger ace up its sleeve.” Enter the chain’s new Health Alliance program.

“Rite Aid is just beginning to roll out a new initiative that has potentially major implications not only for its shareholders but for the health care industry itself,” O’Reilly said.

Unveiled earlier this year, Rite Aid Health Alliance provides comprehensive care and support to individuals with chronic and poly-chronic health conditions and helps them achieve health improvement goals established by their physicians.

Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions, like congestive heart failure, COPD, high cholesterol and diabetes, are recommended to the program by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained care coaches, located in Rite Aid pharmacies, work with the physician and patient on an on-going basis to improve the patient’s overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers and create a personalized healthcare action plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

Currently, the company is piloting Rite Aid Health Alliance partnerships with High Point, N.C.-based Cornerstone Health Care; Glendale, Calif.-based Apollo Medical Holdings; and Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network of Buffalo, N.Y. And in June it was announced that Penn State Hershey Health System is the latest healthcare provider to join the initiative.

 

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Survey highlights U.S. households’ growing interest in organic food

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — A new study from the Organic Trade Organization says that organic food is popular in U.S. households, due in large part because parents are interested in their children eating healthily.

According to the study released Monday, about 80% of the 1,200 households surveyed had purchased organic products in the past two years, and 90% said that their children are the reason they do so.

While about 25% of those surveyed said they always buy organic, that number is higher among households with infants, where about 33% said they always bought organic baby food. Overall, about 19% of people reported not buying any organic products in the past two years — a lower number than the 30% that hadn’t bought organic in the same survey five years ago.

“Choosing organic foods is increasingly a large part of how families are trying to take better care of themselves and the planet,” the OTA’s CEO and executive director, Laura Batcha, said, adding that “those who are choosing organic are buying more.”

The increase in interest in organic products coincides with a high point among organic sales, which were at $35.1 billion dollars in 2013. This year, organic sales are projected to jump about 12%.

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Say what?

BY Dave Wendland

Some suggest that the art of effective communication has been lost forever. We are living in a world of instantaneous, rapid-fire communication. I fear that our desire to respond rather than reflect has resulted in a society that spends more time trying to clarify rather than progressing. Perhaps the classic line from Paul Newman’s 1967 movie "Cool Hand Luke" sums it up best: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”  

A recent study by SIS International Market Research revealed that a company with at least 100 workers spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications, costing businesses $524,569 a year. Seriously? Perhaps we have become addicted to fast-and-furious email and text messaging at the risk of effectiveness. The SIS study suggests that internal productivity is clearly at risk.

These five pain points were revealed in the SIS study as most prevalent in negatively affecting internal communication effectiveness: inefficient coordination; waiting for information; unwanted communications; customer complaints; and barriers to collaboration.

Could the same be true of brand messaging directed toward consumers? My guess is that messages are often lost on their path to purchase due to lack of clarity, memorability, consistency, and overall communication effectiveness. Allow me to submit this as an example: Does anybody really remember any of the key messages or brands shared during this past February’s Super Bowl commercials? I believe that the majority of these insanely expensive investments have not been recovered and have most decidedly been forgotten.

Messages are present almost everywhere one looks, including logos, identities, and the graphics on product packaging. The exuberant use of visual and textual elements to attract shoppers has resulted in a vast array of product packaging, which can be “aggressive” in appearance, overly persuasive and overzealous, incoherent, and downright chaotic. In other words, brand messages are no longer being heard.

In today’s “always on” environment, consumers are bombarded by unnecessary messages from products, expressed with big  words that can be difficult to understand. So, if the volume of messages and the resulting noise have become ineffective, what must a brand do? I recommend getting back to basics and cutting to the chase. Brands have less and less time on shelf or through their promotion to stand out. Keep it simple, succinct, and consistent.

Mark Twain was credited with saying, “Don’t use a five dollar word when a 25-cent word will do.” Try it – you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.


Hamacher Resource Group vice president Dave Wendland, a 20-plus-year retail industry veteran, is a popular presenter and discussion facilitator available to speak at corporate and association events on a variety of retail-related topics. HRG is a research, marketing and category management firm specializing in consumer health care at retail. Product manufacturers, healthcare distributors, retailers, technology partners and others rely on HRG for strategic and creative solutions to help build their business. Learn more at www.hamacher.com.

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D.WENDLAND says:
Jun-23-2014 10:44 am

Marilyn Thank you for your comment. It truly is ALL about common sense.

M.COFFMAN says:
Jun-19-2014 12:42 pm

AMEN to common sense!

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