PHARMACY

Zipnosis to showcase technology in Verizon Wireless booth at mHealth Summit

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS and SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Zipnosis, which offers an online Web portal that allows patients to have virtual visits with a clinician for minor ailments, and Verizon Wireless have announced that Zipnosis will be a featured technology in the Verizon booth at the mHealth Summit Convention in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 5 to 7.

The mHealth Summit is the largest conference in the world focused on mobile and wireless health solutions.

Zipnosis offers treatment for minor health problems such as sinus infections, bladder infections and allergies. How it works: Patients visit Zipnosis.com, create an account, and complete a software-guided interview that collects their medical information. Within an hour, the patient receives a diagnosis and treatment from a board-certified, licensed clinician using the Zipnosis online portal. Each visit is $25 and can be paid with a credit card or health savings account.

“Zipnosis was designed to allow patients and providers access to affordable healthcare anywhere, anytime,” Zipnosis CEO Jon Pearce said. “Verizon Wireless provides an industry-leading network infrastructure and powerful devices that will allow us to rapidly expand our services, and the value of Zipnosis, across America.”

Verizon Wireless is leveraging its scale and reach to deliver a diverse set of wireless technology solutions for healthcare providers, payers and suppliers that enable communication, collaboration and secure information flow.

“We’re helping to bring new technologies to the marketplace by enabling the mobile and wireless health ecosystem,” explained Arthur Lane, associate director of healthcare strategy and new market development for Verizon Wireless. “Zipnosis’ digital platform is an innovative way for patients and providers to connect for acute medical needs using wireless devices like smartphones and tablets to access the portal."


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PHARMACY

Illinois governor receives flu shot at Walgreens to emphasize flu prevention

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. — In an effort to emphasize the importance of being protected against the flu, Illinois governor Pat Quinn visited a Chicago Walgreens to receive his seasonal flu shot.

Walgreens, which announced earlier this week that it was teaming up with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide flu shot vouchers to uninsured Americans, offers flu shots at its pharmacies at Take Care Clinics daily, with no appointment necessary.

Quinn received his flu shot Friday at Walgreens on 933 N. State St. in Chicago.

“For those who haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, it’s prime time for prevention with changes in the weather, the holiday travel season and many other ways in which germs and viruses spread this time of year,” said Kermit Crawford, Walgreens president of pharmacy, health and wellness services and solutions. “We’re proud to have [governor Quinn] reinforce the need for protection and prevention with his flu shot, and helping to recognize the access we provide to immunizations through our network of pharmacists and more than 600 points of care across Illinois.”

National Influenza Vaccination Week kicks off Sunday.


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San Francisco health plan switches pharmacy benefit manager to keep Walgreens in network

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN FRANCISCO — As of January 2012, Chinese Community Health Plan will transition to a new pharmacy benefits management company, Navitus Health Solutions, from Express Scripts to provide its members with continued access to Walgreens pharmacies, the health plan subsidiary of Chinese Hospital in San Francisco announced Friday.

According to the health plan, the move was made to maintain access to those Walgreens pharmacies. "In San Francisco, Walgreens is a leading pharmacy provider and operates the only 24-hour pharmacies in the city," the company stated.

“Our concern is for the continuity of care for the residents we serve in this area," stated Larry Loo, director of business development and operations for CCHP. "Having access to medications in a timely fashion is an important part of their overall health care. Removing access from a neighborhood Walgreens to another drug store downtown or in a different part of [San Francisco] could generate scenarios in which seniors or other individuals cannot fully access the medicines they need.”


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