Telehealth to take spotlight during Business Leadership track at RCEC
MINNEAPOLIS — Telehealth. It’s a hot topic that is fast becoming an integral component in the delivery of American healthcare. Looking to explore the various ways that retail-based health clinics are leveraging telehealth technology to provide care to consumers, this year’s Retail Clinician Education Congress in May will feature a Business Leadership track session on telehealth.
This year’s RCEC event will be held May 12 to 15 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The Drug Store News Group, in conjunction with the Convenient Care Association and Partners in Healthcare Education, hosts the three-day educational and networking forum.
The telehealth panel will be held on May 14 at 11:10 a.m.
Many retail clinic operators are utilizing different telehealth capabilities to enhance the quality and service for their patients. For clinics, telehealth has a multiplier factor — one provider in a clinic can cover several clinics to further expand access to healthcare. Not only are many clinic operators looking for ways to leverage the technology but policymakers are also taking a closer look at telehealth. In fact, earlier this year it was announced that three former senators are leading a diverse coalition, dubbed Alliance for Connected Care, to raise awareness among policymakers about the advancements in telehealth, and to establish a regulatory environment in which patients have more access to connected care.
Additional Business Leadership track sessions at RCEC include —Healthcare Reform: Healthcare Exchanges and You, Consumer Views on Clinic’s Roles, Strategic Partnerships and the Building of the Business Model and a CEO Panel.
“The Business Leadership Track on day two of the 2014 Retail Clinician Education Congress is designed to provide great insights on the major growth drivers affecting the retail health care industry and the access to the key leadership responsible for the strategic direction for this important patient care delivery model,” said Wayne Bennett, publisher of the Drug Store News Group.
Click here for more information and to register for the event.
Kudos to the RCEC for including a session on telehealth this year. Our company has urged several clinic operators to consider this since 2007. It offers clear advantages to the clinics, patients, families and medical/hospital partners. 1. It enables retail clinic to offer more comprehensive services to patients and instantly link medical directors to the clinics whenever needed. 2. It enables the clinics to offer medical specialty services on a local, statewide, national or international basis by virtually bringing specialty physicians to see patients in hundreds of locations in a single, system wide session. 3. Finally, it enables clinic operators to begin transforming an historic economic model that can easily be improved. Why have clinic owners and primary care professionals continued to struggle funding start up, stand alone, nurse practitioner clinics that offer great patient care but then give away multiples of their own earnings to others when patients who need higher cost, more specialized care could easily be seen in existing, retail-affiliated, clinics? Ron Hammerle Chairman and CEO Health Resources, Ltd. Tampa, Florida
Marketing takes new spin with Burt’s Bees promotion
NEW YORK — In what appears to be a marketing first, natural personal care brand Burt’s Bees is reportedly introducing promotional messages that appear as appointments in electronic calendars on computers, smartphones and tablets, according to a New York Times article.
The calendar promotion, whereby consumers are asked to click on a link that will automatically add a series of eight weekly calendar items, is to promote the brand’s Brightening Line of skin care products.
The new products are not mentioned for the first three weeks, according to the NYT report. Instead, those who have opted in will see, for example, an appointment at 12:30 p.m. for a “Meeting to Discuss Your Beautimousness,” with Burt’s Bees listed as the location.
The sales pitch becomes increasingly overt throughout the eight weeks and, according to the NYT, by the eighth week consumers will be encouraged to claim a free sample and download a $3 coupon for one of the products, which retail for from $10 to $20.
According to the NYT article, Lauren Aplin, a brand manager at Burt’s Bees, said that the calendar represented a small part of the promotional budget for the new brightening line and it would monitor the response closely.
“We really wanted to use this as an opportunity to test and learn,” Aplin was quoted as saying, “and to see if it resonated with consumers.”
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Lawmakers urge one-year transition period on Medicaid reimbursement implementation
ARLINGTON, Va. — This week, 49 members of the U.S. House of Representatives urged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to adopt a one-year transition period for states to implement the July 2014 average manufacturer price-based federal upper limits. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores commended Reps. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, for leading the letter effort with their colleagues.
“We are greatly concerned that states are not prepared to make such a rapid transition, considering that CMS expects states, by July 2014 to modify both drug reimbursement and possibly dispensing fees for Medicaid reimbursement,” the lawmakers stated in the letter. “We urge CMS to permit states a transition period of one-year for implementation of the FULs, as well as corresponding dispensing fee changes once they have the information they need to make these changes.”
In the letter, the lawmakers emphasized the need for a transition period to help states meet the requirements of the final rule. “Most states face numerous obstacles to such a quick implementation, including the need for legislative or regulatory changes, legislative sessions this year that do not allow for Medicaid reimbursement changes, the need for cost-of-dispensing-fee studies to ensure accurate pharmacy reimbursement and/or will have to file a State Plan Amendment to implement the new FULs,” the letter stated.
NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson expressed appreciation to lawmakers in signing this letter, “The implementation of these AMP-based FULs poses great concern for pharmacy patient care, and we appreciate the recognition by House lawmakers of how this immediate reimbursement change could impact access to pharmacy services for low-income Americans.”
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