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Telehealth provider Sesame has inked a deal with retail giant Costco to deliver virtual primary care visits for $29, according to Bloomberg. Patients, who must be members of the retailer’s warehouse club, pay strictly out-of-pocket for the visits. Providers won’t require insurance credentialing either. The strategic brand extensions of major retailers like Costco and Walmart rely on their established consumer relationships and the fact that they’re already in the daily orbit of most families. Brand recognition and convenience meet two key consumer demands.

Nickels and dimes add up: Aggregating excess capacity among primary care providers into a queue full of ready-and-waiting patients isn’t a new concept, says Alan Ayers, MBA, MAcc, president of Experity Networks and Practice Management Editor of JUCM.  “One lost urgent care visit per day is worth $43,200 per year,” he says. “Three lost urgent care visits can cost a practice $129,600 per year. While this isn’t critically disruptive, it can certainly nip at your heels.”

Costco Adds Telehealth to Member Perks