The beauty of health and wellness
While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, this month’s Patient Views seeks to better understand beauty in the eye of the patient. AccentHealth viewers — 73% of which are female — were surveyed as to the relationship between health and beauty, as well as their purchasing of personal care products in the areas of hair care, body care, oral care, cosmetics and more.
Results from the nearly 700-person study, fielded in April 2013, show a meaningful correlation between consumers who are proactive about their health and caring for their physical appearance. Sixty-one percent of respondents indicate that looking their best is an important part of how they measure their overall health; however, this grows to 73% among those who are most proactive about wellness. Among those most proactive, 94% assert that physical appearance is important to them.
Due to this relationship between wellness and beauty, consumers consider the "health quotient" when making purchase decisions. According to respondents:
- When asked about attributes associated with personal products, "health and wellness" is the most common response, followed by confidence.
- In addition, health benefits are among the top characteristics playing a role in personal product selection.
AccentHealth finds that more than half of viewers make personal product purchases when filling a prescription at the pharmacy. This is likely attributed to the fact that these types of purchases are most often made at locations of convenience and health destinations — mass merchandisers and chain drug stores. Showing signs for further growth, 69% indicate they would make a personal product purchase at a chain drug store in the future.
The expansion of wellness from pharmacy to the beauty aisle appeals to consumers surveyed. Approximately half of respondents indicate they would take advantage of beauty services (e.g., manicures) offered in-store. Of those, 56% would switch their pharmacy to gain access to such services.
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BeautyBoutique gets makeover
TORONTO — Shoppers Drug Mart opened in late 2012 its revamped BeautyBoutique in the Bayview Village store in Toronto. The space, which is just over 4,000 sq. ft., offers shoppers an upscale beauty experience with brands that weren’t previously available in a BeautyBoutique, but had been available at its Murale store.
The new format also features play stations, where shoppers can touch and feel the cosmetic lines, and fragrance-testing stations so customers can try before they buy.
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Cancer practices hit hard by sequester, study finds
WASHINGTON — Cuts to Medicare payments due to the budget sequester have hit reimbursements for cancer drugs, according to a nonprofit group.
The Community Oncology Alliance released results Thursday of a survey of oncologists from around the country on the effects of the sequester cut to Medicare payments, finding that the 2% cut has "inordinately" affected community oncology practices because it is a cut to the underlying cost of cancer drugs, placing many of them "under water" — meaning that the reimbursement by Medicare is less than the drug’s purchase price. The survey was based on a poll of 326, accounting for 1,650 oncologists who see a total of 728,721 Medicare patients per year.
Most cancer patients are treated in office-based practices, and 69% of those surveyed said patient treatment and operational changes had already been made due to the cut. These include 49% of practices that had to send Medicare patients elsewhere for treatment and 62% who said they would have to send them elsewhere if the cut stays in place through July 31. Meanwhile, 21% said they were laying off staff, and 38% would be forced to if the cuts stay in place this summer. More than 1,200 community cancer practices have closed, consolidated or reported financial problems since 2008.
"We are now seeing the cascading effects of sequestration," COA president and Columbus, Ohio-based oncologist Mark Thompson said. "Many practices are now sending their Medicare patients to hospitals for chemotherapy, while others are laying off staff. Practices are so financially threatened that discussions of merging with a hospital – despite the increase in cost of care to the patients and the system – are being reopened."
According to the survey and a study conducted by actuarial and consulting firm Milliman, the sequester cut will cost Medicare $450-600 million per year because of the shift to more expensive care in hospitals.
Everyone knew that somewhere sometime there would be consequences to implementing out-of-control spending. So cancer patients suffer while unmarried high school and college kids get free birth control pills which cause cancer. Where is the logic and what happened to the grown ups?