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Target partners with Kaiser Permanente on 31 Southern California clinics

BY David Salazar

PASADENA, Calif. — Target is bringing shoppers in 31 of its Southern California stores clinics staffed and operated by Kaiser Permanente. The companies announced the planned retail clinics Thursday, whose expansion builds on an existing collaboration they launched in 2014.

Currently, there are four Kaiser Permanente-staffed Target Clinics in southern California, with four set to open in November — two in San Diego, one in Orange County and one in Riverside —with the rest set to open in existing stores over the next three years.

"From annual flu shots to care for a child's sore throat, guests in our four pilot stores have told us they appreciate having access to high-quality health care services from Kaiser Permanente during their Target run,” Target senior director of wellness Steve Lafferty said. “Expanding the number of Target Clinic locations makes these offerings available to even more Southern California guests, and gives Kaiser Permanente members additional reasons to choose Target's easy, convenient and inspiring shopping experience.”

MinuteClinic has been providing Kaiser Permanente administrative services in support of the existing Target clinics, and it will provide the same services to the new ones when they open. After a clinic visit, Kaiser Permanente patients can receive a one-time fill at the CVS Pharmacy co-located to the Target Clinic.

"CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic are pleased to play a role in this unique health care relationship," MinuteClinic SVP executive director Sharon Vitti said. "Both CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic have a proven track record of delivering top-notch care to patients and we look forward to serving the pharmacy needs of Southern California residents through our presence in Target stores."

The clinics will be branded “Target Clinic, care provided by Kaiser Permanente” and be staffed by licensed nurse practitioners and vocational nurses, with physicians available for telemedicine consultations. It will offer such services as pediatric care, women’s health care, chronic disease monitoring and care, basic dermatology services and treatment for such minor illnesses as strep throat, vaccinations, sinus pain, earaches, asthma and cold and flu.

"This is the evolution of a successful relationship that is focused on quality and convenience," Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals president for the Southern California region Julie Miller-Phipps said. "We are proud to expand our existing efforts to bring affordable, quality health care to even more Target guests throughout Southern California."

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Deloitte: Digital’s influence on grocery shoppers is growing

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy
NEW YORK — Digital's influence on grocery overall has nearly doubled year over year, and is now impacting the in-store experience.
 

More than half (51%) of grocery sales are digitally influenced, according to a new report from Deloitte, entitled “The Grocery Digital Divide: How Consumer Products Companies Can Deliver on the New Digital Imperative." This momentum has pushed the grocery sector closer to other categories such as health (51%), apparel (56%), home (58%) and auto (59%) in terms of digital influence. However, grocery still lags leaders such as electronics (69%) more distantly.

Since 2013, digital's influence in-store across all retail sectors has grown a dramatic 300% — from 14% of all transactions to 56% in 2016. Alongside overall digital influence growth, mobile's in-store influence has also expanded from 5% in 2013, to more than one-third (37%) in 2016.

"People are making decisions about what goes in the grocery cart long before they get to the shelf or even the store," said Barb Renner, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. consumer products leader. "The majority of food and beverage purchases still happen in the store, but consumers' online or mobile experiences impact those purchases much earlier in the shopping journey.”

Despite digital’s influence, there is still a divide between what consumers desire and what the current grocery shopping experience offers. Despite digital's expanding impact, the survey noted only 31% of grocery shoppers indicate that digital makes grocery shopping easier (versus 42% across other retail categories), offering a strong opportunity for those companies who can improve the experience.

Digital now permeates the grocery path to purchase by influencing shoppers' awareness, selection, purchase and loyalty, and in turn is driving new and evolving consumer habits. For example:

• More than three-quarters (77%) of consumers surveyed use digital touchpoints, such as recipe websites and blogs, to drive awareness and find inspiration.

• Eighty percent of respondents have used a digital device to browse or research grocery products, tapping sources like manufacturer and grocery retailer websites.

• Nearly three in 10 (29%) of respondents try products based on online recommendations and reviews, and seek answers from blogs and social media posts alongside online product reviews and loyalty apps.

• Consumers who embrace digital options — such as on-demand local delivery, in-store coupons and instant rebates or mobile checkout — before or during a shopping experience end up converting 9% more often than those who shy away from digital leading up to their purchase decision.

Additionally, grocery retailers' mobile apps lead over consumer products' brand apps. In fact, 41% of respondents turn to grocery retailers' apps compared to roughly one-quarter (27%) who use a consumer product company's app. This leaves ample opportunity for brands to innovate through digital technologies and deliver compelling grocery experiences. Mobile, for example, is driving the convergence of consumer and shopper behavior and expectations, with roughly one-third (34%) of respondents saying they use a smartphone to help choose a brand during a shopping trip.

"Digital is expected to play an even bigger role in delivering the experiences shoppers' desire," said Rich Nanda, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and U.S. consumer products corporate strategy and growth leader. "However, many consumer products companies and their retail partners have yet to take full advantage of the opportunity, potentially leaving money on the table.”

To deliver on the new digital imperative and drive brand engagement in today's digital, omnichannel marketplace, consumer products companies should consider transforming how they operate day-to-day to become faster, more granular and more connected within a digital-first world. Companies who are slower to react to this changing landscape may go home hungry, according to the study.

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GOP senators unveil another repeal effort as Sanders shares ‘Medicare for all’ plan

BY David Salazar

WASHINGTON — With Congress back from its August recess, lawmakers are making it clear that the fight over the future of the nation’s healthcare system is far from over. Wednesday on Capitol Hill saw the introduction of one bill from each side of the aisle, seemingly diametrically opposed to each other.

In a continuation of efforts to do away with the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., alongside four fellow GOP senators unveiled the Graham-Cassidy-Heller Johnson proposal. The bill would repeal the structure of the ACA, replacing it with a block grant to states that would be run through the Children’s Health Insurance Plan and used to help citizens pay for health care. It does away with the individual and employer mandates in the ACA, as well as the medical device tax, and makes it easier for states to waive ACA regulations. It also would distribute block grants evenly across states that both did and did not enact the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

“If you want a single-payer healthcare system, this is your worst nightmare,” Graham said.  “We need people on board now to stop what i think is inevitable if we fail, which is single-payer healthcare for all, which is the end of quality and the end of a sustainable federal budget.”

Graham was speaking of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who unveiled his “Medicare for all” bill alongside its 15 Democratic cosponsors. The bill would phase in a single-payer healthcare system over the course of four years, with the Medicare eligibility age expanding to patients ages 55 years and older in the first year, with benefits expanding to include dental care, vision and hearing aids. It also would cover all children younger than 18 years old. In the second year, the eligibility age goes down to 45 years of age, followed by patients 35 years of age becoming eligible in the third year. By the fourth year, Sanders’ plan has everyone covered under a universal Medicare system that includes dental, vision and mental health care.

“Even though 28 million Americans remain uninsured and even more are underinsured, we spend far more per capita on health care than any other industrialized nation,” Sanders wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday ahead of the bill’s unveiling. “ In 2015, the United States spent almost $10,000 per person for health care; the Canadians, Germans, French and British spent less than half of that, while guaranteeing health care to everyone. Further, these countries have higher life expectancy rates and lower infant mortality rates than we do.”

Though the bill’s 15 cosponsors — almost a third of all Senate Democrats — is a far cry from the zero cosponsors a similar bill from Sanders garnered in 2013, much of the Democratic leadership has not signed onto the legislation, with Politico reporting that several  prefer legislation forthcoming from Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. that would allow patients to buy into Medicare at age 55 years.

In his op-ed, Sanders cited a YouGov/Economist poll that found 60% of Americans wanting to “expand Medicare to provide health insurance to every American” — a number that included 46% of Republicans, 58% of independents and 75% of Democrats. His plan received a rebuke from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders at Wednesday’s press briefing.

“I think that the president as well as the majority of the country knows that the single payer system the democrats are proposing is a horrible idea,” she said. “I can’t think of anything worse than having government be more involved in your health care instead of less involved.”

Both Sanders’ and Graham’s plans come as congressional leadership — Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — have begun to pivot to focus on tax cuts. However, President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Graham’s repeal effort, noting that “inaction is not an option.”

“My Administration has consistently worked to enact legislation that repeals and replaces Obamacare, and that can pass the Senate and make it to my desk,” Trump said. “ Obamacare has been a complete nightmare for the many Americans who have been devastated by its skyrocketing healthcare premiums and deductibles and canceled or shrinking plans.”

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