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Walgreens Boots Alliance and VillageMD have announced Walgreens will be the first pharmacy chain to offer full-service doctor offices that are co-located at its stores on a large scale. This partnership began with a trial run last year, and will now be expanded to the opening of 500 to 700 “Village Medical at Walgreens” physician-led primary care clinics in over 30 U.S. markets within the next five years, and according to the press release, with the intent to build hundreds more after.
“This rollout is a major advancement of one of Walgreens Boots Alliance’s four key strategic priorities, Creating Neighborhood Health Destinations,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO, Walgreens Boots Alliance, in a Walgreens press release. “These clinics at our conveniently located stores are a significant step forward in creating the pharmacy of the future, meeting many essential health needs all under one roof as well as through other channels.”
These clinics will integrate the pharmacist as a member of VillageMD’s team to deliver healthcare to its patients. They will be staffed by more than 3,600 primary care providers, recruited by VillageMD. They will accept a range of health insurance options and offer comprehensive primary care across a range of physician services. 24/7 care will also be available through telehealth and at-home visits. Additionally, according to the news release, more than 50 percent will be in Health Professional Shortage Areas and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations, which is designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“In the U.S., we spend $4 trillion per year on healthcare, over 85 percent of that is tied to patients with chronic diseases. To improve our healthcare system and reverse the trajectory of health spending, we must meet the needs of all patients. This partnership allows us to unleash the power of primary care doctors and pharmacists, enabling them to work in a coordinated way to enhance the patient experience,” said Tim Barry, chairman and CEO, VillageMD, in the same Walgreens news release. “The results of our initial pilot clinics highlight that these outcomes are infinitely achievable.”
As mentioned above, this partnership began with a trial run, which took place with five in-store clinics in the Houston, Texas area. These clinics will measure about 3,300 square feet each, with some as large as 9,000 square feet.
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