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Retail pharmacy giant Walgreens is intensifying its expansion into provider services by launching virtual care in nine states that represent a large swath of its existing customer base, according to Fierce Healthcare. The on-demand telehealth service will cover common health needs, including urgent care services. Patients can schedule virtual consultations with healthcare professionals via chat or video. Notably, Walgreens will not accept insurance for these visits with most chat encounters priced at $33 and video visits ranging from $36 to $75—all out-of-pocket with no insurance currently being accepted.

It’s another system workaround: This announcement came at the big HLTH conference in Las Vegas. Walgreens is yet another retailer pacing itself for a marathon of competition alongside Walmart, CVS, Amazon, Dollar General, and others. By avoiding insurance, overhead remains manageable. Get caught up with this recent news item from the JUCM archive: Dollar General Tests Mobile Healthcare.

Walgreens Launches Direct Urgent Care Business