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Houston Employers Hear New Research That Supports the Case for Retail Clinics
Date:10/29/2007

RediClinic and Memorial Hermann Reduce Employer Healthcare Costs through

Easier Access to Affordable Healthcare

HOUSTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- As employer healthcare costs continue to increase at twice the rate of inflation, there is good news on the horizon. Recent research sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), America's leading public health agency, shows retail clinics can be particularly effective in improving employee health while lowering healthcare costs. Houston employers heard the results of this research firsthand at a recent symposium jointly sponsored by RediClinic and Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

The October 25th event at The Houstonian Hotel brought together leaders of Houston's business and healthcare communities to learn how the accessibility and affordability of retail-based health clinics, like RediClinics, can significantly reduce employers' healthcare costs and improve the health status of employees. Rising healthcare costs continue to plague employers, and a 2007 study by the Kaiser Foundation indicates that 45 percent of all employers plan to increase the amount that employees pay in 2008 for health insurance in order to address these rising costs.

Presented by Bradley A. Perkins, M.D., M.B.A., chief strategy and innovation officer for CDC, the research, which was funded by the CDC and conducted by the New England Complex Systems Institute, shows that retail-based clinics are particularly well-suited to the delivery of preventive care, and that certain kinds of preventive care can produce superior returns in terms of employee health improvements and cost savings. These high-return preventive services include smoking cessation, adult immunizations such as influenza and tetanus, and screenings for hypertension, cholesterol and diabetes.

According to the research, while the established healthcare delivery system has proven to be very effective at handling complex cases, retail clinics can be better suited to the efficient delivery of preventive care that people need on a regular basis to maintain their health and well-being.

"We are pleased to see that high-quality, independent research has validated the need for retail clinics and their value to employers and employees," said Walt Mischer, Jr., Chairman of RediClinic.

"The CDC's research findings are affirming but not surprising," said Web Golinkin, President and CEO of RediClinic. "By working closely with employers and other third-party payers in Houston and other RediClinic markets, we have been able to help them reduce employee healthcare costs, and improve employee health, productivity, and satisfaction."

"The opportunity to reduce employer healthcare costs and improve employees' health status is one of the reasons we got involved in RediClinic," said Dan Wolterman, CEO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. "It's good to see that outside research also validates the benefits of retail clinics."

RediClinics are in-store healthcare facilities that offer consumers easy access to high-quality, routine health services at affordable prices. RediClinics are staffed by certified nurse practitioners who work with local physicians to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications for common conditions, such as earaches, strep throat and upper respiratory infections. They also administer a wide range of preventive services, including health screenings, flu shots and other vaccinations, and back-to-school physical exams. RediClinic is the only retail clinic to currently offer a smoking cessation program.

RediClinic currently has 12 clinics located in H-E-B stores in the greater Houston area, and two more will open before the end of the year. All of RediClinic's Houston clinics are part of a joint venture with Memorial Hermann, Houston's largest and most innovative health care system.

RediClinics are open seven days a week (including most holidays) and offer extended hours on weekdays. Adults and children over age two are welcome, no appointments are necessary and a typical visit takes about 15 minutes.

RediClinic uses a proprietary electronic medical record system to document and guide patient visits. This system ensures patient suitability to RediClinic's limited scope of practice and facilitates continuity of care when other clinicians are involved. Patients who cannot be treated at RediClinic, or who need ongoing treatment, are referred to their primary care provider, if they have one, or to other physicians in their communities.

RediClinic visits are covered by the four largest commercial health insurance carriers -- Aetna, CIGNA, Humana and UnitedHealthcare -- as well as by Medicare and a growing number of regional carriers such as Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. Customers who are covered by health plans that do not currently have agreements with RediClinic receive specially-formatted receipts that can be filed for possible reimbursement.

RediClinic currently operates 19 locations in H-E-B stores in Houston, Austin and San Antonio, TX; and 13 locations in Wal-Mart stores in Tulsa, OK Fayetteville and Rogers, AR, and Richmond, VA. Additional RediClinics are scheduled to open later this year and in 2008.

For a complete list of locations, services, prices and additional information on RediClinic, visit http://www.rediclinic.com

Revolution Clinics, an affiliate of the Revolution Health Group, a company created by AOL co-founder Steve Case, is RediClinic LLC's largest investor and is providing the capital to support the national rollout of RediClinic LLC.

RediClinic LLC

Since 1989, RediClinic (formerly known as InterFit Health) has provided people with easy access to high-quality, affordable healthcare services. Today the company is the largest independent convenient care operator in the United States, and is a leading provider of health screening, immunization and other health-related services to retailers and employers. For more information, visit http://www.rediclinic.com.

Revolution Clinics

Revolution Clinics is an affiliate of Revolution Health Group, a leading consumer-centric health company. Revolution Health strives to empower consumers by putting them at the center of the health system, building innovative health-related companies through investments, acquisitions and partnerships. The company's strategy is to create businesses and products that provide greater consumer choice, control and convenience in three key healthcare sectors affected by the rapid growth of the Internet and defined- contribution health plans: content, coverage and care.

About the Memorial Hermann System

An integrated health system, Memorial Hermann is known for world-class clinical expertise, patient-centered care, leading edge technology, and innovation. The system, with its exceptional medical staff and 19,000 employees, serves southeast Texas and the greater Houston community. Memorial Hermann's 14 hospitals include three hospitals in the Texas Medical Center, three heart institute locations and eight suburban hospitals. The system also operates cancer, imaging, sports medicine and rehabilitation, and surgery centers, outpatient laboratory services, a chemical dependency treatment center, a home health agency, a wellness center, retirement community and a nursing home. Memorial Hermann is the official healthcare provider for the Houston Rockets, Comets and Aeros, Rice University and the University of Houston. To learn more, visit http://www.memorialhermann.org or call 713-222-CARE.


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SOURCE RediClinic LLC
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