PHARMACY

Expansion of services, new execs enhance care model

BY Richard Monks

With nearly 200 clinics in stores operated by Kroger across 10 states, The Little Clinic has become a vital healthcare source for millions of patients across the United States. To ensure that it stays that way, the company has expanded the breadth of the services it offers in some clinics and added new executives to its management team.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

Founded in 2003 and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kroger since 2010, The Little Clinic surpassed the 4 million patient mark earlier this year.

“Hitting the 4 million patient milestone is quite an accomplishment for our company and for the great team of providers The Little Clinic has working with patients each and every day,” president and CEO Colleen Lindholz said. “It is also an indication that today’s consumers desire quality, affordable care on their timetable.”

Around the same time, the company formed a clinical collaboration that allows patients enrolled in Virginia Commonwealth University Health to access the program’s physicians and specialists at Little Clinics in four Richmond, Va., Kroger stores.

More recently, Little Clinic has bolstered its executive team with the promotion of VP and medical director Marc Watkins to the post of chief medical officer.

Watkins’ elevation to the position came two months after the company announced that it was adding registered dietitian nutritionists to its clinics in Nashville, Tenn.; Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio; and Denver.

“Kroger is a health-and-wellness leader in so many regards that it’s a natural extension of our business to add dietitians to our care model,” Lindholz said. “We are now able to help our patients make a better connection between food and overall health, and provide personalized food-related guidance to each individual patient right inside the store where food decisions are made.”

VP of retail dietetics and nutrition solutions Eileen Myers, the executive overseeing the dietitian program, said the Little Clinic is the ideal place to offer such services.

“Our approach is truly a hands-on approach because we can easily take a store tour with patients, guide them to the foods that best fit their nutrition goals, teach them how to read food labels and create a personalized food plan to best support the patient’s goals — whether that’s weight management, food allergies, diabetes, improved sports performance or other health concerns,” she said.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

Walgreens Healthcare Clinic invests in continuum of care

BY Richard Monks

Walgreens has been at the forefront of the movement to make retail clinics a cornerstone of the American healthcare system.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

With more than 350 corporate-owned clinics in 20 states operating under the Healthcare Clinic banner and about 50 other clinics in its stores run by other providers, a long list of affiliations with health systems across the country and cutting-edge technology, the company has established itself as a critical provider of health services for thousands of Americans.

Since opening its first clinics in the early 2000s, Walgreens has grown that portion of its business by slowly adding more company-owned, walk-in health centers and partnering with established clinic operators to put clinics in Walgreen stores in certain markets.

In April, for instance, Walgreens teamed up with SSM Health on a deal under which SSM will take over ownership and operation of 27 Healthcare Clinics in St. Louis-area Walgreens stores. The clinics are expected to be renamed SSM Health Express Clinic at Walgreens later this year.

The deal followed an agreement in January between Walgreens and Advocate Health Care that has seen Advocate open 56 clinics at Walgreens stores in the Chicago suburbs.

“We believe this approach will help ensure a true continuum of care for patients and their providers. This is also an emphasis for our Walgreens-managed clinics, where we continue to make investments, such as a new EHR platform, to offer patient benefits through a variety of convenient care options,” Walgreens Healthcare Clinic chief medical officer Pat Carroll said.

He noted that by collaborating with other healthcare providers, Walgreens is helping drive the transition of the retail health clinic model from one providing urgent, episodic care to one offering more coordinated care. A key component of that coordination has come from Walgreens’ use of the Epic electronic health record platform that went into effect earlier this year.

“This state-of-the-industry EHR enables seamless communication with health systems and local providers, and gives us enhanced capabilities to deliver better health outcomes through greater care coordination and interoperability,” Carroll said. “As our clinics play an increasingly important role in health care — supporting the healthcare system, provider practices and patients’ medical homes — care coordination can be critical.”

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?
PHARMACY

Affiliations, partnerships driving patient health

BY Richard Monks

As it continues to evolve, CVS Health’s MinuteClinic is taking the concept of walk-in health care to a new level.

(To view the full Category Review, click here.)

With more than 1,100 clinics — including 79 in Target stores — MinuteClinic offers the country’s largest network of no-appointment-needed retail health services. The company estimates that since becoming part of CVS a decade ago, it has treated nearly 30 million patients.

Recognizing that the ongoing evolution of the U.S. healthcare system will lead to convenient care clinics playing a more significant role in patient care, MinuteClinic has continually expanded its reach, added new services and enhanced its offering through partnerships with other healthcare providers.

In April, for instance, the company teamed up with the Cleveland Clinic to provide patients at Ohio MinuteClinics with access to its experts for both online and mobile doctor visits. Under the program, patients deemed to need more extensive care than the walk-in clinic staff can provide can get a video follow-up consultation with a primary care practitioner from the Cleveland Clinic.

Anderew Sussmanm, president of Minute-Clinic and SVP and associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, has said CVS sees such telehealth services as this as playing an increasingly central role in patient care going forward. To that end, the company has been working with three established remote visits companies — American Well, Doctor On Demand and Teladoc — to expand its telehealth capabilities and services.

Meanwhile, MinuteClinic continues to add clinical affiliations. In recent months, the company has joined forces with John Muir Health in California; University of Chicago Medical Center in Illinois; Novant Health, serving the Winston-Salem area, in North Carolina; and University of Michigan Health System in Michigan.

Executives said the affiliations and the more than 60 other partnerships MinuteClinic and CVS Health have developed over the years help drive patient health.

“By allowing our electronic health records and information systems to communicate and share important information about the patients we collectively serve, we will have a more comprehensive view of our patients, which can aid in healthcare decision-making and help ensure patients adhere to important medications for chronic diseases, and collaborative programs that enhance access to patient care, improve health outcomes and lower healthcare costs in the communities they serve,” CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan said when the deals were announced.

keyboard_arrow_downCOMMENTS

Leave a Reply

No comments found

TRENDING STORIES

Polls

Which area of the industry do you think Amazon's entry would shake up the most?