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Cerberus close to acquiring parts of Supervalu

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The breakup of Supervalu to private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management could be announced as soon as Thursday when Supervalu shares third-quarter results with analysts, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal published Friday. 

Bloomberg also reported that a deal between Cerberus and Supervalu was imminent. According to that Bloomberg report, Cerberus would lead an investment of around $500 million in equity. 

Bloomberg in December reported that Cerberus and Supervalu were negotiating a deal in which Supervalu would sell its Albertsons and Save-A-Lot operations to Cerberus, and Cerberus would take a stake in the remainder in what will still be a public company. 

Supervalu’s stock rose 13.5% to $2.94 on Friday, after WSJ reported a deal with Cerberus was close. The company’s stock has been down more than 60% over the past 12 months.

Cerberus already has a stake in the Albertsons banner. In 2006, a Cerberus-led group acquired more than 650 underperforming Albertsons stores as part of a larger deal to dismantle that grocer. As part of that deal, Supervalu had acquired more than 1,100 Albertsons grocery stores. 

For the full Bloomberg story, click here

For the full WSJ story, click here

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Bill would advance telemedicine

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — New legislation aims to increase access to telemedicine services through government-sponsored health programs.

Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., recently introduced H.R. 6719, the Telehealth Promotion Act of 2012, which would establish that "no [medical] benefit covered shall be excluded solely because it is furnished via a telecommunications system," allowing greater access to telemedicine services through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Tricare, Department of Veterans Affairs and federal employee health plans.

The bill would also create a new federal standard for medical licensure, requiring that providers in federal health plans be licensed only in the states of their physical locations and free to treat eligible patients anywhere in the country.

The bill won praise from a telemedicine industry association.

"This is a major step forward in congressional support for telemedicine and would extend the benefits of telehealth and [mobile health] to nearly 75 million Americans," American Telemedicine Association CEO Jonathan Linkous said. "Rep. Thompson clearly understands that telemedicine is a value — for patients, for the government and for the American taxpayer. We encourage other legislators to support this win-win bill, which will improve health care and decrease federal health expenditures."

In addition, the bill would change existing Medicare and Medicaid programs by creating incentives for hospitals to use telemedicine to lower readmission rates; expanding the "Medical Home" coordinated-care option; exempting accountable care organizations from telehealth fee-for-service restrictions and allowing them to use telemedicine as a substitute for in-person care; launching new pilot programs for remote patient monitoring for up to 10 Department of Health and Human Services-designated conditions; adjusting reimbursement timelines for home health to better facilitate remote patient monitoring; and creating a telemedicine service option in Medicaid to treat high-risk pregnancies.

"This bill represents a panacea for federal involvement in telemedicine, eliminating archaic barriers and expanding opportunities for remote health care," Linkous said. "If passed, this bill will almost instantly make our federally funded health system more effective and more efficient."


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J.Green says:
Feb-09-2013 03:29 am

We love our telemedicine plan, my wife just had a beautiful baby girl on Oct 28th 2012, having a doctor on call 24/7/365 is a great relief to us. Disclaimer: I must admit I’m just a little biased as I work with telemedicine providers signing up individuals, companies, associations, small and large groups for telemedicine and dental plans at wholesale prices. We’re looking for B to B and B to C sales people in all 50 states. Jeremy Green 323 393 3069

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Walgreens further elevates beauty at mass with ‘Night at the W’

BY Antoinette Alexander

Following the "People’s Choice Awards," Walgreens is celebrating its involvement in the awards by hosting “Night at the W” events at its stores nationwide on Jan. 10.

The “Night at the W,” which leverages the expertise of its beauty advisers, is yet another example of how the pharmacy retailer is elevating the beauty experience at mass. And the event is an ideal way to promote its beauty advisers.

With a staff of 26,000-plus beauty advisers, the expansion of the LOOK Boutique concept, the expertise from its online beauty engine Beauty.com, and the merger with Alliance Boots, Walgreens is giving the U.S. mass-market beauty world a significant makeover, and the “Night and the W” events further illustrate the effort.

The retailer’s voyage to makeover the beauty experience within its stores really gained traction following the 2010 acquisition of Duane Reade. As the number of LOOK Boutiques within both Duane Reade and Walgreens continue to grow, the company is also creating a multi-channel play inside the store by tying in some of the e-commerce assets the company acquired in 2011 in the Drugstore.com deal.

Then there’s the merger agreement with Alliance Boots, which will undoubtedly serve as a powerful accelerant to its existing beauty strategy. Alliance Boots has seen great success with its No. 7 brand — a top-selling brand in the U.K. for face, lip and eye makeup. Walgreens’ recent opening of its flagship store in Los Angeles marked the first time that No. 7 was available in a Walgreens location.

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