PHARMACY

Deloitte survey: Consumers satisfied with health plans, but concerned about changes

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON Of the 82% of consumers surveyed who considered themselves "well" or "adequately" insured, nearly all (96%) were somewhat or very satisfied with their health plans overall, according to a new poll.

 

Among 1,019 adults surveyed by Harris Interactive on behalf of Deloitte, many respondents also were concerned that the new health-reform law will bring about significant changes to their current coverage. Of those enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, 61% believed their employer will reduce benefits for dependents and retirees, and 32% thought employers will probably pay the penalty and discontinue health coverage for employees altogether.

 

 

"Anxiety about current and future health-insurance coverage will continue to be a major issue for American consumers as healthcare reform is implemented nationally," stated Paul Keckley, executive director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "For example, our research shows that consumers who are covered through Medicare are more highly satisfied with their healthcare services than those in employer-sponsored plans."

 

 

The poll also noted that age was a contributing factor in respondents’ view on healthcare reform. In general, younger adults were more positive about health reform than older consumers. According to the survey, more than half (51%) of 18 to 34 year olds believed that the reform bill will reduce healthcare costs in the long term, compared with respondents 45 to 54 years old (23%), 55 to 64 years old (36%) and 65 years old and above (30%).

 

 

"Younger consumers are beginning to embrace a new norm for health care," said Keckley. "Those in the younger age groups, (18 to 44 years old), are increasingly aware that the healthcare reform process has many moving parts, and that they may find themselves entering into a new pact with employers."

 

 

Additional key findings from the survey included:

  • 84% of all consumers surveyed have health insurance;
  • More than half (56%) of those surveyed believed that incentives for doctors and hospitals to use electronic medical records will be effective or very effective at improving the overall performance of the healthcare system;
  • 60% believed that cutting the rate of growth of Medicare costs will be only somewhat or not at all effective at improving the overall performance of the healthcare system;
  • 69% believed the issue is not whether an organization is for-profit or not-for-profit — it’s what the organization does that matters; and
  • 61% of respondents agreed that a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations stimulates positive competition and innovation.

 

View the full results here.

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NACDS conference brings success, energy to the table

BY Allison Cerra

SAN DIEGO Uniting suppliers and manufacturers proved a success at National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ 2010 Marketplace Conference, which concluded Tuesday afternoon in San Diego.

Boasted as the largest convergence of drug, food, mass, club and value retailing in the United States, the NACDS Marketplace Conference featured new product showcases, category manager meet-and-greets and more. Representatives from such chains as Chain Drug Consortium, Costco, CVS Caremark, Kmart, Meijer, Shopko, Walgreens and Wegmans were present to provide visitors with industry insights.

Among the conference’s events were the Meet the Market program, Meet the Retailer/ How to Do Business With sessions and a product showcase on the exhibition floor. Evaluated by the retail attendees, winners of this year’s “Product Showcase” are:

  • Baby Care Company:    Bean-B-Clean Product:       Bean-B-Clean (Scalp Massaging Brush)         
  • Consumables Company:    Crunchies Food Co. Product:       Crunchies (all natural freeze dried fruits and veggies)         
  • Cosmetics and Fragrances Company:    U.S. Cotton, LLC Product:       Swisspers exfoliating cotton facial cleansing pads
  • General Merchandise Company:    FGX International Product:       LightSpecs by Foster Grant   
  • Healthcare/OTC Company:    TECNIMED Product:       Thermofocus, the original 5-1 non contact thermometer  
  • Home Healthcare Company:    Drive Medical Design & Manufacturing Product:       Glow & Go folding cane     
  • Personal Care/HBC Company:    Zeno Corp. Product:       Zeno Hot Spot blemish clearing device

“This year’s NACDS Marketplace Conference was an overall success and the atmosphere was full of energy,” said NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson. “From the Meet the Market program to the education sessions and the exhibit floor, NACDS continues to provide attendees an effective and efficient meeting geared toward their needs.”

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FDA releases sun safety video

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. Summer is a time when millions of Americans make their way to beaches, parks and vacation spots, but they also could be putting themselves at risk for skin and eye damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The Food and Drug Administration has posted a short video on its website designed to show consumers how to protect themselves from UV rays. The video features FDA dermatologist Jane Liedtka and FDA ophthalmologist Wiley Chambers explaining the need for sunscreen and sunglasses, and what kinds consumers should buy.

The video is available at www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm214669.htm.

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