Healthcare reform and the retail sector

By Maureen Aylward

With healthcare reform still a big issue in the US, we wanted to know more about the potential impact on retail and companies that rely on part time workers. The resulting responses from some of our Zintro experts lean toward the same concerns that other sectors have. The biggest concern is the continued rise of healthcare costs and the possible status quo of services in the face of increases in patients to the system.

Tony VanValkenburg, an expert in retail management in many of the largest retail markets in the US and experienced in turn-around projects, feels that the healthcare changes in the US will significantly impact and increase margins, workload, and earnings for most medical and pharmaceutical companies. “While the added number of insured people will increase traffic to hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics, one of my concerns is that service standards remain at their current levels and not decrease,” he says. “I am watching whether healthcare providers are stretched with limited resources and if Wall Street is prepared for lower overall returns in the retail sector.” VanValkenburg recommends that retail operators who anticipate being impacted by healthcare reform begin running financial and capacity models to ensure actions are being put in place to tackle the challenges that may be set in motion from the healthcare reform law.

CP Guide, an expert with business development and brand management experience in the vitamin industry and big box retail, thinks that recently enacted healthcare reforms to the US healthcare delivery system is unlikely to have meaningful impact on expenditures or improve the comparative health status of Americans. “The US healthcare delivery system, as it is currently contrived, primarily benefits drug companies, medical device manufacturers, and indirectly insurance companies. The losers are physicians and patients,” CP Guide says. As for the impact on retail sector, CP Guides points out that the recent legislation contains some laudable provisions. “But the devil is always in the details, many of which have yet to be revealed and many more of which have yet to be implemented,” he notes. “While we don’t know exactly how healthcare reform will work, we do know that industries have power.”

By Maureen Aylward

What do you think?

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