Healthcare Roundup—Rite Aid, Albertsons call off merger; Immigrants have lower healthcare costs, study finds 

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Rite Aid and grocery company Albertsons have decided to end their merger talks. (iStockPhoto)

Rite Aid, Albertsons call off merger

Pharmacy chain Rite Aid and grocery giant Albertsons have mutually agreed to end their merger plans, the companies announced. 

John Standley, Rite Aid’s CEO, said in a statement that the company’s shareholders were not convinced that the merger would be beneficial. As the merger deal has been terminated, a shareholders meeting to vote on it scheduled for Thursday has also been called off. 

“While we believed in the merits of the combination with Albertsons, we have heard the views expressed by our stockholders and are committed to moving forward and executing our strategic plan as a standalone company,” Standley said. 

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Under the terms of the deal, neither company will be required to pay the other because of the termination. (Announcement)

Study: Immigrants have lower healthcare costs than people born in the U.S. 

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Tufts University found that immigrants have lower healthcare costs than those born in the United States, which means they contribute notably to supporting public programs like Medicare. 

The researchers conducted a peer review of literature on immigrants’ healthcare spending since 2000 and found their expenditures to be between one-half and two-thirds those of people born in the U.S. 

“Overall, immigrants almost certainly paid more toward medical expenses than they withdrew, providing a low-risk pool that subsidized the private and public insurance markets,” according to the study. (Study

USF researchers developing computer games to stave off dementia 

A team at the University of South Florida is developing a set of computer brain games that they say could reduce dementia risk. 

The games, USF Professor Jerri Edwards, Ph.D., said, use visual stimuli to help patients take in and process information more quickly. Edwards said that 87% of participants in a clinical trial saw benefits from the training, and the team is still studying the games’ efficacy. 

“There is a small diminishing of the effects that we see, but we still see that people who did even just 10 hours of the training at the baseline are still performing better, having better mental quickness 10 years later,” Edwards said. (Health News Florida