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H-E-B pledges not to reduce part-time hours as Affordable Care Act approaches

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN ANTONIO — H-E-B will not reduce work hours to avoid the health insurance mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a report earlier this month published by the San Antonio Express-News

Currently, almost 60% of H-E-B’s 76,000 employee base qualifies for health benefits, the grocer stated, as the company extends coverage to part-time employees who average at least 29 hours per week. 

Other employers have been cutting part-time hours in an effort to avoid having to pay for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act, the report noted. 

For the full article, click here

 

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Former White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle elected to CVS Caremark’s board

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark’s board of directors has elected former White House adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle to serve on its board, the company stated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DeParle will be an independent director and will serve on the board’s audit committee, according to the filing.

DeParle, who is currently a partner at private equity firm Consonance Capital Partners, has more than 25 years of experience in the health care arena and is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading experts in health care policy, management and financing.

From March 2009 to January 2013, DeParle served in the White House, first as counselor to the President and director of the White House Office of Health Reform, and later as assistant to the President and deputy chief of staff for policy. In addition, from 1993 to 2000, DeParle served as the associate director for Health and Personnel for the White House Office of Management and Budget, and later as the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (then known as the Health Care Financing Administration).

From 2001 to March 2009, DeParle served as a senior advisor with JPMorgan Partners and as a managing director of its successor entity, CCMP Capital, focusing on private equity investments in healthcare companies. During this period, DeParle served on the boards of several healthcare companies, including Medco Health Solutions, Boston Scientific Corp., DaVita, Cerner Corp., CareMore Health Plan and Legacy Hospital Partners. She also served on the board of trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
 

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Rite Aid joins forces with Text4baby to help pregnant, new mothers

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The largest mobile health initiative for pregnant mothers and their babies has named Rite Aid its first national retail partner, the drug store chain said Thursday.

Rite Aid said it was named a partner of Text4baby, a free text messaging service for pregnant women and mothers of infants younger than 1 year. In response, Rite Aid said it would provide 10,000 free flu shots to mothers enrolled in Text4baby. The chain said the partnership would connect more women to important health and safety information. The company plans to advertise the new initiative using circular ads, in-store displays and social media, while Wellness Ambassadors at the chain’s Wellness stores will provide information to help mothers enroll.

"Our partnership with Text4baby and founding sponsor Johnson & Johnson directly aligns with our commitment to improving the health and well-being of women, our core customer, and their children," Rite Aid SVP marketing John Learish said. "We’re pleased to be able to use our broad customer base and our associates to help connect women to Text4baby and the valuable information it provides to mothers."

Women will receive three free text messages per week throughout their pregnancy and their baby’s first year, in English or Spanish, if they text RABABY or RABEBE to 511411. The interactive messages are personalized to the mother’s due date or the baby’s birth date, with topics including safety, nutrition, birth defects prevention, safe sleep, developmental milestones and more. Members will be informed of the availability of the flu shots starting Oct. 15; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu shots are especially important for pregnant women, as the flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in those who aren’t pregnant.

"We are excited that Rite Aid is joining us not only to expand the reach of Text4baby, but also, most importantly, to help mothers, mothers-to-be and their babies stay healthy during their pregnancy and beyond," J&J VP strategic partnerships Sara Colamarino said. "Our long-standing relationship and shared interest in helping women and children live healthier lives makes Rite Aid a perfect partner."

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