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Wegmans, higi connect consumer health data to pharmacy

BY Michael Johnsen

Wegmans and higi on Wednesday announced that customers and employees utilizing higi health stations can now link their health data directly to Wegmans’ pharmacy management system through an integration with McKesson’s EnterpriseRx.

This initiative will enable Wegmans pharmacists to better help consumers understand their measurements, review their health data trends and connect consumers with the appropriate care for their current health needs.

“Consumers want a more convenient, cheaper and easier ways to connect to their healthcare data and share it with their care providers,” Jeff Bennett, higi CEO, said. “By being consumer-centric and meeting the consumer where they are, higi and Wegmans together are empowering deeper consumer engagement to drive improved adherence and deliver better health outcomes.”

Across the industry, consumers are in search of more opportunities to conveniently share health data with trusted healthcare providers. Wegmans Pharmacy historically has been a champion for using technology to deliver better care to consumers and engage them in their health, the grocer stated. Now, through the McKesson Clinical Programs Solution integration with higi, Wegmans consumers can immediately and securely share higi collected data, including blood pressure, pulse, weight and BMI, and work with the Wegmans Pharmacy team to better understand and act on that data.

The McKesson Clinical Programs Solution is a platform that operates as part of the pharmacy management system, integrating with pharmacy workflows to provide actionable notifications in real time. Biometric data collected by higi is incorporated into the CPS platform, allowing pharmacists to immediately react to each consumer’s health concerns. Having access to this data enables Wegmans and their pharmacists to be the connective tissue needed as the healthcare system continues to move toward proactive and convenient retail based care, the companies noted.

 

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Kmart Pharmacy makes opioid overdose-reversal drug available

BY DSN STAFF

Kmart Pharmacy announced that the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone is now available without an individual prescription in locations throughout the nation.

“We agree with the U.S. Surgeon General’s call to make naloxone more widely available,” William Linnane, president of Kmart Pharmacy, said. “Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids — including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl — is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.”

The Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based company’s pharmacists are able to dispense naloxone to patients without a prescription in states where it is permitted. The retailer’s pharmacy chain also is ensuring that its pharmacists are trained and equipped with the resources to recommend, dispense and educate caregivers, family and friends on the lifesaving drug.

Kmart Pharmacy also utilizes such tools as the eHealth and the Medicare.gov Plan Finder for Medicare Members to help them assess their Part D coverage and enroll in plans, the company said.

Further information can be found on Kmart Pharmacy’s website.

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Kroger to increase employee benefits

BY Marianne Wilson

Kroger is increasing benefits for its employees as retailers continue to feel the pressure of a tight job market.

The supermarket giant on Monday announced several employee initiatives, including an education assistance program, accelerated investments in store associate wages, and a more generous 401(k) benefit. It also is enhancing associate discount and support programs. Last week, Kroger announced that is looking to fill 11,000 positions in its supermarket division, including almost 2,000 management jobs.

Under the new education program, called Feed You Future, Kroger and its subsidiaries will now offer full-and part-time associates an employee education benefit of up to $3,500 annually ($21,000 over the course of employment) toward continuing education and development opportunities including a high school equivalency exam, professional certifications and advanced degrees. Kroger said expects to increase by five times its total annual investment in employee education.

As part of the initiative, Kroger is also introducing a new educational leave of absence that allows associates to take time off work to focus on approved studies, while maintaining a role with the family of companies and their seniority.

“We care about our nearly half a million associates’ growth and development, and we believe investing in education will support and encourage lifelong learning and reinforce our ‘come for a job, stay for a career’ opportunity culture,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “We believe that making education benefits available to more associates and at more generous levels than ever before is the best way to support their future.”

Kroger is also increasing the company match for its 401(k) program to 5%, up from the existing 4%. It is expanding its employee discount program for associate shopping in its stores, and investing $5 million more into its Helping Hands program, an internal fund to aid associates who are going through hard times.

In order to increase starting wages and overall wage rates in certain markets, Kroger is utilizing the benefits of the recent tax cut to accelerate some of the previously-announced, incremental $500 million investment in associate wages, training, and development during the next three years.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a catalyst that is enabling us to accelerate investments in Restock Kroger, our plan to serve America through food inspiration and uplift,” said McMullen. “Sharing the benefits of tax reform with our associates and customers will create a more sustainable and stronger business model to support Restock Kroger and beyond. This approach is also consistent with living our purpose: to Feed the H

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