Urgent care and hospital operator Sutter Health is diversifying its efforts to reach patients in multiple settings by opening its own retail-style walk-in clinics in the Sacramento, CA area. Sutter already operated a few retail clinics housed in Rite Aid stores, along with dozens of urgent care centers. Now they’ve opened three such locations of their own in neighborhood shopping centers, with plans to open nine more in the San Francisco Bay area this summer. The company says it’s a response to customers who’ve expressed a need for more healthcare options and availability. Taking this step independent from Rite Aid allows Sutter the flexibility and the autonomy to do things their way, while providing an even lower-cost option than a traditional urgent care center can offer. The Sutter retail clinics will be open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, and be staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Unlike typical drugstore clinics, Sutter’s “retail” locations will be integrated into its greater health system, facilitating convenient follow-up or access to higher-acuity care when needed—and keeping the patients “in house,” as well.
At Customers’ Behest, Urgent Care Player Getting into the Retail Game