By Medical News Now, December 31, 2017 2:01:49After a decade-long hiatus, gift card subscriptions are back, and the trend is spreading.
Gift card companies, which offer gift cards that expire after one year, are starting to ramp up their offerings.
The trend started when the National Association of Gift Card Users launched a website in October that tracks more than 1 million gift card purchases.
The website, which has been popular among doctors and medical school students, has since grown into an active forum.
More than 10,000 doctors and their patients have signed up for the site, which lets them share gifts with family members, friends and co-workers.
There are hundreds of options, including gift cards for movies, music, books and more.
At one time, there were only a few gift card companies.
But since late last year, more than 200 have started to add the gift card service, including Publix Gift Card.
And now, many are turning to the gift cards themselves to buy the necessities of life.
A recent survey by the National Consumer Law Center found that nearly 80 percent of gift card customers said they would not pay for an emergency room visit without a gift card.
“We are getting more of the gift-card business and it’s growing faster than the gift shop,” said Dr. Michael T. Zirkin, senior director of pharmacy programs for the National Pharmacy Assn.
“It’s growing at a rapid rate, and that’s really exciting.”
The growing popularity of gift cards is encouraging doctors and health care professionals to step up their efforts to help their patients and their communities, and to do so with an effective gift card system.
“I would not be doing what I am doing today without a good, solid gift card program,” said M.L. Scott, M.D., president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
“If you are a doctor, a nurse, or someone with a high workload, then you need to be doing something.”
Dr. Zilkin said he and other doctors are encouraged by the growing interest in gift cards.
For example, he said, a doctor might be concerned about their finances if a patient buys an emergency fund for a wedding gift or another emergency care package.
But if that doctor has a good gift card that expires in six months, he can spend it on that patient’s wedding and health insurance benefits.
In some cases, a gift-cards gift card is the only way to buy groceries or fuel in an emergency.
Doctors also can give patients gift cards to shop for items they might need at a store, such as a Christmas tree or Christmas tree lights, or to take a vacation.
Even if a doctor has no gift card to give, she can still take advantage of the discounts that are available when people shop at discount stores.
With a healthy, long-term outlook, gift- cards are helping to keep patients and doctors healthier.
Gift cards are often more convenient than other gift cards, said Dr.
“The gift card has a lot of value,” said Zirkins.
“You don’t have to walk out of the store with an entire box of clothes or a Christmas card to buy that much.”
A doctor can buy a gift cards at the pharmacy, on Amazon.com, and even on a popular online grocery store.
When people want to save money, they don’t go into the store.
Instead, they go online and click on a few coupons and other offers to get their gift card online, said Zilkins.
People also can buy gift cards from the pharmacy for the same reasons.
The price is the same, but the convenience factor is greater, said Tressa Zirker, vice president of medical affairs at Publices, a grocery store chain.
Parlix Gift Cards, for example, offers a discount of 10 percent for a one-time purchase of a $50 gift card for people 18 or older.
If a patient has a high medical need, a pharmacy coupon will save the doctor money.
Parlies pharmacy coupon offers up to a $40 discount on a single-use pharmacy bag for up to four patients.
Parlills pharmacy coupon, for $30, saves the doctor $40.