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REGIONALREPORT Triad

 

 

-1.1%

Winston-Salem-based BB&T Corp.’s stock return in 2011, fifth on American Banker magazine’s list of the nation’s best performing bank stocks last year. Charlotte-based Bank of America Corp. (-58.7%) had the worst return.

 

500

Jobs Greensboro-based Solstas Lab Partners LLC will add in High Point, where it employs 721, or one of three other undisclosed cities. High Point and Guilford County are contemplating offering Solstas, which is expected to make a decision early this year, a combined $1.3 million in incentives.

 

Better health is better business

If businesses want to save money, they have to spend money. That’s the thinking at Triad Care Inc. The High Point-based health-services company, which has seven employees, sends its pharmacists and health-care specialists to job sites of its customers to screen employees for chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which can presage serious — and expensive — crises such as heart attacks and strokes. These pre-emptive measures reduce companies’ health-insurance premiums or, if self-insured, payouts for medical care.

Jeremy Patterson and Rich White, both pharmacists, started Triad Care in 2010 after realizing many people don’t properly use the medicines they’re prescribed. That’s why Triad Care enters the workplace — eliminating the obstacle of a doctor’s visit. “We find patients who might have, say, high blood pressure,” says Patterson, Triad Care’s CEO. “They might know it, but they feel fine and don’t take their medications all the time. They might not realize the ramifications for their organs 10 or 15 years down the road. Or they may just see their doctor once a year. That just doesn’t cut it.”

So Triad Care unveiled a $50,000, two-room mobile unit in January. Staffed by two pharmacists and a driver, it visits workplaces such as fast-food restaurants that don’t have space for screenings. “When you put obstacles in the way of health care, a lot of employees simply won’t take the day off from work,” Patterson says.

Annual insurance costs for 350-employee Hillsborough-based PHE Inc. — one of the nation’s largest distributors of sex toys, videos and other adult products — have decreased nearly 50% to about $500,000. Its program, which started in-house in 2007 and was taken over by Triad Care in 2010, includes offering incentives to stop smoking and activities such as swimming and an annual run of more than three miles. Employees, on average, have lost 8% body fat and had their glucose and cholesterol levels go down 3.3% and 4.4%, respectively. “They’ve seen significant reductions, particularly in emergency-room visits and large-claim situations,” Patterson says. To run programs such as the one at PHE, which includes year-round supervision and diagnostics, Triad Care charges $240 to $300 a year per employee. But PHE saves $1,000 a year on each in medical expenses.

 

Briefs

HIGH POINT— Cornerstone Health Care will add 135 employees and invest $25 million in information-technology services here to focus on early intervention and closer monitoring of patients with chronic diseases. About 60 will work in IT, with the rest in general operations. The company is the Triad’s largest independent physicians group and employs 1,500.

WINSTON-SALEM— Krispy Kreme Doughnuts will add 35 workers to its plant here, bringing employment to about 100, and convert 50,000 square feet of empty space into a commissary. It laid off 25 workers early last year.

HIGH POINT— Telecommunications provider North State Communications will buy Winston-Salem-based DataChambers, which specializes in data storage and IT services. DataChambers will operate as a subsidiary and retain its 26 employees. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

WINSTON-SALEM— Boston hedge fund The Baupost Group purchased 5.7 million shares of drug developer Targacept. Its stake, estimated at 17%, makes it the largest shareholder.

WINSTON-SALEM— Wellington, Fla.-based B/E Aerospace, which employs more than 800 at its airline-interior plant here, bought a New York-based supply-chain management company. B/E says the acquisition will not affect local employees.

WHITSETT— Lenovo will add 37,500 square feet to its 207,000-square-foot distribution center here, where it employs about 160. The Chinese computer maker did not say if it would hire more workers.

WINSTON-SALEM— Donny Lambeth, 61, resigned as president of N.C. Baptist Hospital, which operates under Wake Forest Baptist Health, after more than three years in the position to become president of system-owned Lexington Medical Center.