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Target stores in Chicago area to sponsor Bump Club and Beyond baby care events

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — Target will play host to a new series of educational events sponsored by Bump Club and Beyond, an event company focused on educating mothers and expectant mothers.

The company said it would pilot the events at three Target stores in the Chicago area on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. The events, called BCBasics for Moms and Moms-to-Be, will focus on car seat safety, strollers, baby carrying and wearing and the registry process. The events are open to the public and will take place in the baby sections of the stores. Baby Center also is participating in the events.

"BCBasics is the perfect opportunity to bring a sample of our signature events to moms and moms-to-be in the Chicago suburbs," Bump Club and Beyond founder Lindsay Pinchuk said. "We are thrilled to partner with Target and Baby Center to provide valuable education and resources while connecting with more Chicago-area moms."

The events will feature a 20-minute presentation followed by a Q&A with the editors of Babycenter.com and Safety Squad, and visitors will have the opportunity to browse baby brands, while the first 50 people will receive a gift bag with products from Huggies, Graco, Motorola, Ergobaby and others.

 

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Study: Limiting NPs’ scope of practice leads to higher costs

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Shedding more light on the important role that retail-based health clinics — and the nurse practitioners who work in them — play in the U.S. healthcare system, a new study suggests that eliminating restrictions on nurse practitioners’ scope of practice could have a “large impact” on the cost-savings.

The study, titled “Practitioners Limit Cost Savings That Can Be Achieved in Retail Clinics,” was published in the November issue of Health Affairs.

“Using multistate insurance claims data from 2004–2007, a period in which many retail clinics opened, we analyzed whether the cost per episode associated with the use of retail clinics was lower in states where NPs are allowed to practice independently and to prescribe independently. We also examined whether retail clinic use and scope of practice were associated with emergency department visits and hospitalizations,” researchers stated.

The bottom line: Researchers found that visits to retail clinics were associated with lower costs per episode, compared with episodes of care that did not begin with a retail clinic visit. Furthermore, the costs were even lower when NPs practiced independently.

More specifically, an article by FierceHealthcare on the study reports that, according to researchers, in states where physicians oversaw nurse practitioners, costs averaged $543, versus $484 in states where nurse practitioners practiced independently. Costs averaged $509 in states where nurse practitioners had independence in practice and prescribing.

The article also states that according to researchers, if retail-based clinic visits make up for 10% of all outpatient primary care visits by 2015, national cost savings would be $2.2 billion. If nurse practitioners in all 50 states practiced independently, that would add on an additional $810 million. That savings could grow even more — by $472 million — if nurse practitioners could prescribe on their own too.

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Costco sales, comps increase in October

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Sales at Costco Wholesale in October were up by 6% over last year, the club retailer said Thursday.

Costco said sales for the month were $8.15, compared with $7.66 billion in October 2012. For the nine-week period that ended Sunday, sales were $18.01 billion, a 6% increase over the $17 billion the chain had during the same period last year.

Same-store sales for the month and the nine-week period that ended Sunday increased by 4% for the company’s U.S. division and by 3% for the chain overall, including downward pressure from gas prices and currency exchange rates. Costco operates 642 stores, including 457 in the United States, 86 in Canada, 34 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Canada, 10 in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia. The company plans to open seven more stores before the end of 2013.

 

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