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Stoll named CEO of Little Clinic

BY DSN STAFF

CINCINATTI —Kroger not only has indicated that The Little Clinic is an “essential part” of its commitment to health and wellness for its customers, but also has appointed Kroger executive Michael Stoll—who has extensive experience in healthcare benefits—to take the reigns of The Little Clinic business.

Stoll, whose new title is CEO of The Little Clinic, comes with 34 years of experience at Kroger in corporate benefits, human resources management and store operations. In his most recent position as VP corporate benefits, Stoll played a key role in developing the healthcare strategy and pension plans for Kroger’s 334,000 full- and part-time associates.

“The Little Clinic is an essential part of Kroger’s commitment to health and wellness for all of the customers we serve. Mike’s extensive experience in healthcare benefits and customer insight will guide us as we continue to look for innovative ways to build on the shared expertise in our clinics and our stores,” stated David Dillon, chairman and CEO of Kroger.

Promoted to VP corporate benefits, succeeding Stoll, is Theresa Monti. Prior to her promotion, Monti served as director of corporate health-and-welfare benefit programs for Kroger. In her new role, she will lead the development, implementation and administration of policies and strategies for the company-sponsored health, welfare and retirement benefit plans. Prior to joining Kroger in 1999, she held national account management positions with both Kaiser Permanente and Prudential Health Care.

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Retail clinics: Improved care at a lower cost

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT Retail clinics. Save. Money. Without regard to who’s footing the bill exactly — healthcare payer or Jane Patient — retail clinics not only represent a significant cost savings across the board, but by siphoning nonemergency-yet-still-urgent cases out of the emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, retail clinics also can contribute to improved care across the healthcare continuum.

(THE NEWS: Study: Retail clinics save nonemergency patients money. For the full story, click here)

All told there were 119.2 million total ER visits in 2006, up 8.2% as compared with 2004, according to ACEP. Extrapolate that figure with WellPoint’s finding that 19.4% of those visits may be for nonemergencies across the entire nation, and the fuzzy math equates to an approximate 23.1 million non-emergency patients presenting across some 3,833 ERs. For whoever is paying for the cost of care, that’s an expenditure totaling $10.2 billion if every case were to present at an ER; as compared to $1.2 billion if every case were to present at a retail clinic. That’s the cost savings piece.

But cost savings aren’t the only benefit retail clinics afford the overall healthcare system —  there’s a general improvement in care. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, average waiting times for patients triaged with non-emergency ailments at emergency departments range between one and two hours, but only when the ER isn’t crowded. That’s like saying that bee stings don’t hurt, you know, except when they do.

Let’s face it, in a nation of 309 million and counting, there are simply not enough points of care, be it for an emergency or nonemergency situation. Taking nonemergency visits out of emergency rooms would likely improve the efficiency of care for more critical patients, as well as the experience of care for noncritical patients. That’s the improved care piece.

Improved care at a lower cost, that’s what retail clinics bring to the table.

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Tide brings Loads of Hope to Dollar General

BY Allison Cerra

NASHVILLE Tide brought its mobile laundromat to a local Dollar General to benefit victims of the recent floods.

Tide’s Loads of Hope program visited a Nashville Dollar General May 12 to provide customers in the area with clean laundry. One truck and a fleet of vans house more than 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. Tide washs, dries and folds the clothes for these families for free.

The Loads of Hope program also benefited victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, in addition to other natural disasters.

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