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Rite Aid to open physician-staffed Baltimore, Washington clinics

BY Michael Johnsen

COLUMBIA, Md. Rite Aid will be opening retail clinics at four locations in Baltimore and Washington this summer, Rite Aid and clinic partner MedStar Health announced Tuesday.

“MedStar PromptCare clinics will provide our customers and community with accessible, high-quality medical care in a convenient setting,” stated Mark de Bruin, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy services. “These in-store health clinics offer services that complement the medication counseling and care provided by our pharmacists. It’s a great combination and clearly supports Rite Aid’s focus on health and wellness.”

MedStar Health, a large Mid-Atlantic hospital and health care provider, Rite Aid and Consumer Health Services, a manager of on-site physician-staffed health clinics, have entered into an agreement to launch MedStar PromptCare walk-in health clinics inside select Rite Aid stores.

Under the agreement, MedStar Health will provide clinical oversight and ensure access to necessary follow-up specialty and acute medical services for the clinics. The clinics will be staffed by physicians to provide treatment for ailments such as strep throat, flu and urinary tract infections; minor injuries such as lacerations, sprains and minor fractures, as well as health and wellness screenings and vaccinations.

MedStar PromptCare physicians will be credentialed by and have admitting privileges to MedStar Health’s hospitals, including Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center in Washington, as well as Montgomery General Hospital in Montgomery County, Md., and Franklin Square Hospital Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Harbor Hospital, and Union Memorial Hospital, which are all located in Baltimore.

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CVS Caremark awarded AT&T PBM contract

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has been awarded a contract to provide PBM services to AT&T’s employees and retirees, effective Jan. 1, 2009.

“We are delighted that AT&T has chosen to consolidate its entire PBM business with us,” stated Tom Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark. “AT&T is one of our oldest and best customers, and we consider this decision to be a vote of confidence for our integrated model of delivering pharmacy health care. By consolidating their PBM business with CVS Caremark, they will be well positioned to consider a number of the unique services that only we can offer.”

Under the agreement, CVS Caremark will provide a suite of integrated pharmacy services, including claims processing, network management, rebate contracting, mail order pharmacy and specialty pharmacy services.

Commenting on the news, Lehman Brothers analyst Meredith Adler stated in a research note, “Since Caremark already had about two-thirds of the contract previously, we estimate that the incremental revenue will be about $350 million. The total contract is approximately $1.25 billion, with mail accounting for two-thirds of revenue and retail representing the other one-third.”

Adler estimated that the impact to earnings to be about 2 cents to 3 cents. “We believe AT&T’s desire to work with CVS demonstrates that payors are beginning to appreciate the value of the company’s combined model,” she stated.

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Safeway president of perishables exits company

BY Doug Desjardins

PLEASANTON, Calif. Safeway’s president of perishables, Des Hague, has left the company and will be replaced by executive Kelly Griffith. A statement from Safeway stated Hague left the company “to pursue other business opportunities.”

“We are grateful for the contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Safeway president and chief executive officer Steve Burd in a statement.

Griffith has been with Safeway for 28 years and was most recently president of the chain’s Portland Division, a position he’s held since 2005. His position is going to be filled by Steve Frisby, who is currently president of Safeway’s Texas Division. Frisby has been with Safeway since 1972.

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