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    Spartan Banners Team with Gentex to Launch Employer-Pharmacy Benefits Plan

    The program focuses on managing employee health while providing cost effective benefits.

    Spartan Stores' banner stores throughout Michigan and Gentex Corp. have teamed to introduce Michigan's first employer-pharmacy health benefits plan that company officials describe as a model for future health management involving employees, pharmacists, and physicians.

    The alliance marks an "important new step in our company's health and wellness initiatives through our D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and Glen's Pharmacies," said Alan Hartline, Spartan Stores' e.v.p. of merchandising.

    The employer-pharmacy health benefits plan "is the next step in healthcare, which we believe, will improve the health outcomes of our pharmacy patients," added Eddie Garcia, director of pharmacy for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spartan.

    United in the belief that managing care rather than solely managing the costs of healthcare will actually reduce the total healthcare spend, Spartan Stores' new alliance with Gentex will provide employees one-on-one access to pharmacists and reduced or eliminated co-pays on prescriptions. The program, in turn, represents "a significant benefit to Gentex employees and the company itself," said Bruce Los, v.p. of human resources for Gentex.

    The plan will provide both education and personal health management for Gentex employees with special emphasis on chronic health problems, such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension and high cholesterol, utilizing a collaborative approach between the patient, the pharmacist care manager and the employee's personal physician.

    Pharmacists from D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and Glen's Pharmacies will provide medication therapy management (MTM) services for Gentex employees; the pharmacy locations will then become the preferred pharmacies for the Gentex Health Plan.

    As the preferred pharmacy for Gentex, D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and Glen's pharmacies will provide the majority of the prescription services for Gentex employees. Their pharmacists will also develop and implement MTM services on a fee-for-service basis. As the MTM services develop, the two companies plan to utilize the benefits that the supermarkets offer for a total health and nutrition solution that the drugstore formats can't provide.

    Gentex employees will have access to a network of pharmacists specially prepared to provide individualized health and wellness information, and consultation as part of their benefits plan. In addition, employees will receive reduced copays on selected prescription and selected medication will have no copay, the ability to pick up their 90-day fill at any convenient full service in-store D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare and Glen's Pharmacy rather than a mandatory mail order program.  

    Employees at Gentex will begin utilizing the new program in January 2009.  

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