HEALTH

Citi’s flu care card pushes employers toward lower-cost retail channels

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Citi on Tuesday announced the launch of the Citi Flu Care card, a new corporate healthcare payment solution from Citi’s Global Transaction Services. The Citi Flu Care card is a payment service designed to help employers reduce employee healthcare spending by shifting the administration of flu shots from doctors’ offices or on-site clinics to more cost-effective pharmacy locations.

 

According to an examination in June 2010 by a benefits consulting firm, the average cost of a flu shot when factoring in the vaccination and related services rendered is estimated to be $80 or greater when dispensed at a doctor’s office. By using the Citi Flu Care card, the cost per vaccination is $30 or less.

 

 

“The Citi Flu Care card is designed to help employers keep their employees healthy by offering them an easy and convenient way to get a flu shot," stated Dan Miller, SVP pharmacy operations for Rite Aid. "It’s also a good way to get out the message that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses."

 

Based on industry research, it is the first flu shot card payment product that does not require prepayment, and restricts use to flu vaccinations at more than 17,000 pharmacies and clinics nationwide, including CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid, Target, MinuteClinic, The Little Clinic and any of the Kroger Family of pharmacies.

 

Until now, companies have relied on corporate on-site health providers or doctor visits for flu shot disbursement, Citi noted. With the Citi Flu Care card, employers can direct vaccinations toward lower-cost retail channels, significantly reducing the average cost per vaccination by 63%. This means substantial and immediate savings for the company and a convenient, no-cost alternative to the employee.

 

 

"For nearly 14 years, Citi has been pioneering corporate payment solutions for a wide array of payment needs, from payroll and incentives to benefits and rebates," stated Paul Simpson, global head of treasury and trade solutions, global transaction services at Citi. "Now, we’re revolutionizing how individuals get their flu shots, providing greater ease, flexibility and access. It’s incredibly exciting to think about the impact this could have on the health and productivity of individuals and our economy as a whole. We’re excited to think about the other applications this product will have in market."

 

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MyGlucoHealth teams up with Nokia

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO The developer of a wireless mobile application designed to help manage diabetes announced that its program, which is downloaded every 29 seconds worldwide, is teaming up with a mobile phone manufacturer.

Entra Health Systems said its MyGlucoHealth app is teaming up with Nokia to market the wireless diabetes management technology. The app works with a real-time online data collection network to securely upload and manage blood glucose readings using a mobile phone, Entra Health Systems said. The app directly communicates with the MyGlucoHealth wireless blood glucose meter to upload readings using integrated Bluetooth technology.

 

"We believe better diabetes care begins by building an informed, connected care team around every patient and closely integrating a patient’s testing data with their day-to-day management," said John Hendel, chairman and founder of Entra Health Systems. "Our goal is to offer technology that fits the lives and lifestyles of patients from all levels of society. With [more than] 5 billion mobile phones on this earth, we have a natural tool to connect patients with personalized online resources for diabetes management. Whether they have smart phones or simple-feature phones, they can benefit from a connected care solution to help better manage their disease."

 

 

The MyGlucoHealth mobile app is available for free through Ovi Store at Store.ovi.com for Nokia smart phones and feature phones. The MyGlucoHealth wireless meter and strips are available from MyGlucoHealthStore.com and other major outlets worldwide.

 

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RelaxZen arrives at Rite Aid

BY Michael Johnsen

SHREWSBURY, N.J. RelaxZen recently announced that RelaxZen Night, a sleep-aid shot supplement, has gained distribution through Rite Aid and will be merchandised at Rite Aid’s checkout counters.

 

“Our corporate philosophy is ‘everyone deserves to live a RelaxZen Life,’” stated Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, RelaxZen chief zen officer. “With the addition of 3,000-plus Rite Aid locations, it really expands the opportunities for consumers to try our uniquely formulated RelaxZen Night product.”

 

 

“Relaxation supplements are a natural fit for pharmacies, and RelaxZen is fast becoming the category leader, with the Rite Aid partnership being the latest example,” added RelaxZen chief relaxation officer Nick West.

 

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