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Sam’s Club launches health exchange for small business owners

BY Michael Johnsen

 

 

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Sam's Club on Wednesday announced a number of first-of-its-kind services, including the introduction of a health exchange service in partnership with Aetna, to better serve its small business clientelle. 
 
"The small business area for Sam's is an area that we care deeply about as a company," commented Rosalind Brewer, Sam's Club CEO. "The small business community for us is really a cornerstone of our business base," she said. But the face of that small business owner is changing, Brewer noted — 70% of Sam's Club's small business customers are micro-businesses with fewer than five employees. 
 
"[Our members] have told us that they need clarity on small group healthcare," Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP health and wellness at Sam's Club, said. "With the launch of the new Aetna Marketplace for Sam's Club, small business owners can have plan choices for their employees that are affordable, personalized and easy to use." 
 
The key benefits of this new health exchange for small business owners include streamlined administration, budget predictability, cost control and curated options for coverage. "With the Aetna Marketplace, Sam's business members can choose a predefined contribution or a flat pre-tax dollar amount that their employees can apply to the plan of their choice," Turner-Mitchael said. "The Aetna Marketplace for Sam's Club is an exclusive investment. We are the only retailer to provide a private small business health exchange offering big business benefits to today's small business owners." Citing JD Power figures, Turner-Mitchael noted that 47% of employers are expected to move to a health exchange model by 2015. 
 
The new solution complements Sam's Club's healthcare initiatives, including prescription savings, on-site immunizations (at a business owner's place of business or in the club) and 10 free health screenings per year that are open to the public. "We know healthcare is a complex issue and we want to simplify the process of enrolling and managing healthcare for small business with Aetna," Turner-Mitchael said. 
 
In addition to the health exchange, Sam's Club introduced new legal services and payroll services for small business owners. And Sam's Club travel mobile app is expected to launch next month that will allow members to book travel on the go. 

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Target enhances digital tools, offers free online shipping for holiday season

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS — Target is gearing up for the holiday season with a string of new initiatives, including new and enhanced digital tools and free shipping on all Target.com orders now through Dec. 20.

“Target is poised to deliver an unparalleled holiday shopping season. We’ve been building capabilities that put us in a strong starting position, including the right digital tools and a broad assortment of unique, on-trend merchandise. Our value proposition will be unrivaled, with compelling promotions and an exceptional shopping experience online and in our stores,” said Brian Cornell, chairman and CEO, Target. “It’s about delivering on our promise of ‘Expect More. Pay Less,’ and when we do that, Target is impossible to beat.”

With conversion on Target’s digital channels up 40% this year, guests are turning to Target.com for more of their shopping, the retailer stated. In light of this, Target will offer free shipping on all Target.com orders for the holidays, now through Dec. 20. In addition, more than 65,000 items are now available for Store Pickup on Target.com and 80% of orders are fulfilled within one hour, making it a convenient option for busy shoppers through Christmas Eve.

Beginning Oct. 31, Target will launch a Wish List app — a modern and digital take on the classic tradition of creating holiday wish lists. Kids can add must-have items to their list, while parents can share the list with friends and family. Target’s Wish List app also offers an augmented reality feature that works with Target’s Kids’ Gifting catalog. Plus, guests can save 10% on their Wish List on one day of their choosing before Nov. 26. The app can be downloaded on Apple and Android mobile and tablet devices or printed on the registry kiosks in Target stores.

In addition, mobile and tablet apps are relaunching in time for the holidays. With these enhancements, Target is looking to help guests locate and purchase what they are looking for using interactive store maps and shopping lists, as well as streamlined checkout including, Apple Pay in the iPhone app.

Furthermore, Target is offering weekly sales, weekend promotions and exclusive deals on Target.com and Cartwheel, Target’s savings app. Cartwheel will offer daily deals for its more than 10 million users, and from Nov. 2 to Dec. 24, Cartwheel will offer 50% off a different toy every day. The app will have new features for the holidays, including special deals for top users, personalized recommendations and a select number of popular offers that do not expire.

For the third year, Target is extending the timeframe of its Price Match Policy for the holiday season beyond the typical seven-day window. If a guest purchases a qualifying item at Target between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 and then finds it for less at Target.com, a local competitor’s printed ad or at select online retailers, Target will match that price.

REDcard holders get 5% off nearly all purchases, free shipping at Target.com and an extra 30 days for returns.

Partnership with STORY

This holiday, Target will partner with New York retailer STORY. STORY brings an editorial lens to retail and reinvents itself every four to eight weeks — from merchandise and store design, to floor plans and fixtures — bringing to light a new theme or trend. From Target’s design partnerships to its everyday collections, STORY will curate its favorite holiday treasures from Target, alongside its other must-have items for the season, beginning Nov. 5.

"Working with STORY will give holiday shoppers in Manhattan a new way to discover Target’s brand and products,” said Kathee Tesija, chief merchandising and supply chain officer, Target. “This unique concept will also provide a testing ground for us to continue to understand how merchandising and product curation influences our guests.”

 

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CDC webcast highlights pharmacy’s impact on improving patient health

BY Antoinette Alexander

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted the importance of incorporating pharmacists into team-based care to improve patient health outcomes — a move applauded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores — during its Public Health Grand Rounds webcast on Tuesday.

“We appreciate the CDC highlighting pharmacy’s continued and expanding role in the healthcare delivery system during the Grand Rounds webcast,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson.  “As healthcare professionals, pharmacists serve an important role as part of a patient’s healthcare team, especially those with chronic conditions who look to their pharmacists not only for the dispensing of their much-needed medications, but also how to take those medications correctly.”

The CDC’s pharmacy-focused public health forum, “How pharmacists can improve our nation’s health,” highlighted the expanded role of pharmacists in the healthcare delivery system. The CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues.

During Tuesday’s Grand Rounds forum, pharmacists in the public health sector, academia and pharmacy organizations provided presentations that demonstrated the role of pharmacists in helping to improve health outcomes, including pharmacists’ role in collaborative and team-based care models and how pharmacists help improve medication adherence for patients with chronic diseases.

“Pharmacists are widely trusted and extremely valued by patients, making them uniquely positioned to provide patient care services amid the changing landscape of health care,” Anderson added.

Each CDC Grand Rounds session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores cutting-edge scientific evidence and potential impact of different interventions. The Grand Rounds sessions also highlight how the CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discussing the recommendations for future research and practice.

 

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