Several chain drug retailers have partnered with financial services giant Citi on an innovative payment card for employee flu vaccinations.

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Drug chains team with Citi on flu shot payment card

November 9th, 2010
CVS is among the pharmacies participating in the Citi Flu Care card program.

NEW YORK – Several chain drug retailers have partnered with financial services giant Citi on an innovative payment card for employee flu vaccinations.

The banking and investment firm's Global Transaction Services unit on Tuesday launched the Citi Flu Care card, a corporate health care payment solution that directs employees seeking flu immunizations to participating pharmacy chains and other health care providers, including CVS/pharmacy, Rite Aid, Target, MinuteClinic, The Little Clinic and Kroger Co. supermarket pharmacies. Overall, more than 17,000 pharmacies and clinics across the country can accept the card.

Citi said the Flu Care card, which doesn't require prepayment, is designed to help employers cut employee health care spending by shifting the administration of flu shots from doctor's offices and work-site clinics to more cost-effective retail pharmacy locations. According to Citi, that channel shift can reduce the average cost per vaccination by 63%.

"The Citi Flu Care card is designed to help employers keep their employees healthy by offering them an easy and convenient way to get a flu shot," Dan Miller, senior vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid Corp., said in a statement. "It's also a good way to get out the message that the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses."

Citing a June 2010 study by a benefits consulting firm, Citi reported that the average cost of a flu shot when factoring in the vaccination and related services rendered is estimated at $80 or more when administered at a doctor's office, compared with $30 or less using the Citi Flu Care card. Citi added that the card also uses patent-pending technology that enables employers to pay for flu vaccines only at the time they are administered, giving them greater control over the total program cost.

"We're revolutionizing how individuals get their flu shots, providing greater ease, flexibility and access," stated Paul Simpson, global head of treasury and trade solutions for Global Transaction Services at Citi. "It's incredibly exciting to think about the impact this could have on the health and productivity of individuals and our economy as a whole. We're excited to think about the other applications this product will have in market."