PHARMACY

Humana opens health-and-wellness center with MinuteClinic healthcare services

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOUISVILLE, Ky. The Humana Center for Health and Well-Being opened here on May 10, bringing together multiple health-related services for Humana associates in one location, including healthcare services provided by CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic.

"By offering treatment in a convenient setting, we can work with Humana to help reduce healthcare expenses for its associates, improve well-being and health outcomes and reduce time spent away from Humana associates’ families and the workplace," stated Andrew Sussman, M.D., president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark.

A MinuteClinic nurse practitioner will offer preventative health screenings plus walk-in care for minor illnesses and injuries.

"Our associates and their families need a holistic health approach that is convenient and cost-effective," said Bruce Perkins, SVP healthcare delivery systems and clinical processes for Humana. "This exciting new well-being concept is designed to improve the health of and access to care for our associates through a combination of personalized services."

The center’s health coaches from Humana’s LifeSynch subsidiary will provide personalized support to help associates stay focused on achieving their health and fitness goals. Wellness coaching will help associates eat better, lose weight, manage stress and quit smoking, among other things.

An "Innovation Showcase" section of the center will give associates and other visitors an opportunity to explore Humana’s new and pilot products and services.

The integration of data and services available at the center will help impact lifestyle changes for Humana associates (those who live in the Louisville area or are visiting from other parts of the country), their spouses, domestic partners and dependents, as well as Humana contractors.

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Pfizer acquires rights to terguride

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Pfizer will acquire worldwide rights to a drug for treating pulmonary arterial hypertension, the drug maker said Wednesday.

Pfizer announced it would acquire terguride, an investigational drug, from Germany-based Ergonex Pharma. Under the agreement, Pfizer will support completion of phase 2 clinical trials of the drug and have exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize the drug, except in Japan. Ergonex will receive milestone and royalty payments.

“Pfizer’s unique business unit structure positions us to advance a broad portfolio of innovative research programs designed to lead to a diversity of products, including highly specialized ones in disease areas like PAH,” Pfizer specialty care business unit president Geno Germano said. “In the case of terguride, we are pleased that we can support its continued development given our commitment to advancing science in PAH and to bring new, potentially disease-modifying treatments to patients.”

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USP recommends prescription labeling be standardized

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. An advisory panel of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention has recommended standardizing prescription labeling so patients can more easily understand the instructions, USP said.

USP, a nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality and purity of medicines in the United States, cited Institute of Medicine statistics indicating that limited health literacy affects 90 million adults, thus reducing their ability to benefit from the healthcare system.

“Patients have the right to understand health information that is necessary to safely care for themselves and their families,” USP Health Literacy Prescription Container Labeling Advisory Panel co-chairwoman Joanne Schwartzberg said. “Confusing medication labels is one area that can be improved considerably. As most of us who have ever received a prescription drug know, the contact and appearance of medication labels can vary widely.”

Recommendations included simplifying language on labels by eliminating unfamiliar terms and unclear medical jargon, using explicit language to describe dosing and interval instructions and improving readability by using clearer fonts.

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