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Walmart commits to health care efficiency program

BY Mike Troy

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart has committed $670,000 to help fund a first-of-its-kind program in its home state known as the Arkansas Payment Improvement Initiative (APII).

The announcement regarding Walmart’s involvement in the cost-containment, outcomes oriented program was made by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe who characterized the initiative as a groundbreaking effort to create a more patient-centered and cost-efficient health payment system. As part of the agreement, Walmart will serve on a newly created APII Employer Advisory Council, fund the development and distribution of information to the public that explains how payments are being restructured and help underwrite an annual statewide tracking report that will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the project.

"We have worked for the past two years to bring the public and private sectors together in order to provide better health care in more cost-efficient ways," Beebe said. "It’s critical that large, self-insured companies like Walmart be involved in this complex work that has the potential to serve as a model for the rest of the nation. With more than one million people on its health plan, Walmart’s willingness to step forward and lead in this effort shows the company’s continued pursuit of innovation and the initiative’s potential for the future of health care."

The program, currently in its first phase of implementation, is structured to reward physicians, hospitals and other providers for delivering patients high-quality care at an appropriate cost. The long-term goal is to build a new and sustainable system that provides the best possible health care for Arkansas residents through team-based approaches and cost containment.

For example, when primary care providers actively encourage patients to use preventive services, patients can manage chronic diseases and reduce future serious illnesses and costly treatments. And, when people receive appropriate follow-up care after hospitalizations, the likelihood of hospital readmissions can be dramatically reduced, which results in better health and lower costs.

"We are very supportive of this work that will reward doctors, hospitals and other providers who offer great care at an appropriate cost," said Sally Welborn, Walmart’s SVP of benefits. "Governor Beebe is leading a first-of-a-kind payment-reform effort in Arkansas that health experts elsewhere are following closely. We respect the work being done in Arkansas, and we are excited about the opportunity to offer real support to such a meaningful project in our home state."

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Midwest Gloves & Gear releases new “Octagon” glove merchandiser

BY DSN STAFF

ST. LOUIS — MidWest Gloves & Gear has introduced the new "Octagon" glove products retail merchandiser series designed as a unique eight sided durable structure with focused graphics.

 

The new Octagon merchandisers feature the themes of the MidWest proprietary products of “American Made” and “Max Performance” work gloves. The generic design units for "garden" gloves and "work" gloves accommodate glove products that can be tailored to fit the requirements of individual retailers needs.

The unique floor display utilizes only 3.4 sq.-ft. of floor space and ships ready for set-up with dimensions of 30 1/2 in. tall by 20 in. by 20 in., and pre-loaded with up to 24 dozen glove products.

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Lipton launches “Uplift Your Day” campaign

BY DSN STAFF

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever-owned tea company Lipton is looking to breathe new life into a brand more than 130 years old.

Lipton announced Thursday its "Uplift Your Day" campaign surrounding its flagship black tea brand, introduced by Sir Thomas Lipton in 1879. The campaign will include television, digital, in-store, social networking and public relations, as well as a worldwide contest on Instagram.

In that contest, consumers can upload images through Instagram from Feb. 4 through March 2, tagging the image #Lipton. The grand prize winner will win an all-expense paid trip to Kenya for two to visit Lipton’s Rainforest Alliance-certified tea estates; 12 additional winners will receive a tablet.

"With approximately half of the American population drinking tea on a daily basis, we saw a fit for today’s lifestyle with the leaf that started it all," Unilever North America VP refreshments Alfie Vivian said.

 

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