Walmart Tries Again to Draw Patients Away from Other Retailers—and from Urgent Care

Walmart Tries Again to Draw Patients Away from Other Retailers—and from Urgent Care

JUCM readers are well aware that Walmart has failed—multiple times—to establish a foothold as a healthcare provider. The concept, market, or locales have just never lined up right. They’re trying again, though, this time in partnership with primary care company Oak Street Health. The pair plan to open clinics in three Walmart supercenters in the Dallas–Fort Worth area this fall with an emphasis on preventive primary care and urgent care. What could make this effort …

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Retail Clinics Are Having a Hard Time Bouncing Back—with Some Going Virtual

Retail Clinics Are Having a Hard Time Bouncing Back—with Some Going Virtual

JUCM News readers know the urgent care industry took a pretty big hit in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re starting to come back strong, but retail clinics are having a harder time rebounding. RediClinic just announced it will close all 36 of its locations in Texas, in favor of expanding its telemedicine offerings for patients—for which they’re aligning with Rite Aid Virtual Care. Most of those locations were associated with H-E-B food …

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Walgreens Dives into the COVID-19 Testing Pool, Hoping to Draw More Patients

Walgreens Dives into the COVID-19 Testing Pool, Hoping to Draw More Patients

In line with recent efforts by retail drugstores to bulk up primary care-type offerings, Walgreens plans to open 15 drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Texas. The company says it chose locations after consulting with the Department of Health and Human Services on areas where the virus is on the rise. The move comes weeks after Walgreens, CVS Health, Target, and Walmart joined President Trump to discuss how retailers …

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Is Retail the Place for Employee Drug Screens and Other Occ Med Testing?

Is Retail the Place for Employee Drug Screens and Other Occ Med Testing?

MinuteClinic has made its name by giving customers shots and offering immediate care for low-acuity infections (ie, those for which prescriptions can be dispensed within the store). Now, however, it has announced a plan to partner with Alere eScreen to provide occupational medicine-type services for employers—most notably, including drug screens. The plan is to contract with companies who will send their workers to the CVS-operated clinics for biometric screenings, vaccinations, and Department of Transportation physicals, …

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Influx of Retail Clinics Worries San Franciscans

Influx of Retail Clinics Worries San Franciscans

The growth of retail clinics across the country may have chain drugstore operators patting themselves on the back, but it has some residents in local communities saying “There goes the neighborhood.” One thing that concerns people in some San Francisco neighborhoods, for example, is that crafty operators are exploiting loopholes in local regulations to transition some spaces from retail to medical use. Residents are most concerned about additional traffic and unwelcome changes in the character …

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More Data Implicate Retail Clinics in Rising Health Spending

More Data Implicate Retail Clinics in Rising Health Spending

A new study from PwC’s Health Research Institute is just the latest to show that the convenience offered by retail clinics comes at a steep price. As a result, large employers can expect to see health costs keep growing throughout this year and the next, according to Medical Cost Trend: Behind the Numbers 2017. The “big surprise,” according to the report, is that the biggest increases appear to be coming from basic healthcare that should …

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Care Coordination, Inexperience Make Retail Health Risky Business

Care Coordination, Inexperience Make Retail Health Risky Business

Have some retailers waded so far into the healthcare waters that they may be over their heads? A new poll by Deloitte & Touche shows that the challenge of coordinating care among various providers and retail companies’ relative inexperience in the field of healthcare are leaving many companies at risk. Offerings are so diverse, from wellness screenings to treatment for acute low-acuity conditions by physician assistants and nurse practitioners, that some organizations may not be …

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SSM Health Goes Deeper into Retail

SSM Health Goes Deeper into Retail

Hybrid health provider SSM Health Medical Group, which does business in the urgent care, hospital, primary care, and retail arenas, has signed an agreement to take over operation of 27 retail clinics housed in Walgreens drugstores in the St. Louis area. When the transition is complete next fall, the locations will be renamed SSM Health Express Clinic at Walgreens. Until then, it will be business as usual for those walk-in locations. Walgreens and SSM Health …

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Grocers Follow Urgent Care’s Lead with Nutritional Counseling

Grocers Follow Urgent Care’s Lead with Nutritional Counseling

A handful of retail clinics are stealing a page from the urgent care playbook by diversifying services they offer to customers. The Kroger grocery store chain is testing out nutritional counseling in select stores with Little Clinic locations in four states. Urgent care clinics from California to New Jersey have had success employing registered dieticians and nutritionists for years, providing guidance for patients on food plans, food labels, food allergies, and the like. In addition …

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Are Retail Clinics Pennywise, Pound-foolish?

Are Retail Clinics Pennywise, Pound-foolish?

One of the retail health sector’s key selling points—convenience—may partially negate its perceived cost benefit vs urgent care or the emergency room. A new study published in Health Affairs reveals that use of retail clinics actually led to higher overall spending because patients were more inclined to seek professional care for complaints so minor that they could have been treated at home. The data, which reflect claims data from Aetna, indicate that 58% of retail …

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