PHARMACY

RediClinic boosts health alliances

BY Richard Monks

In recent months, RediClinic — which operates 43 clinics in Rite Aid stores in the Philadelphia, Baltimore/Washington, D.C., and Seattle markets, as well as 35 clinics in H-E-B grocery stores in Houston, Austin and San Antonio — has continued to form alliances with local healthcare providers. The company continues to strengthen its ability to offer convenient health care to more patients through its partnerships with local healthcare providers.

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One of the most recent of these alliances came in February when RediClinic and Aria Health, a large healthcare provider in eastern Pennsylvania, teamed up on a deal that the companies say will offer greater convenience, increased access and more affordable healthcare to residents in these markets.

Earlier, RediClinic struck a similar deal with the Seattle-area not-for-profit healthcare organization MultiCare Health System that has seen the companies jointly operate 11 RediClinics inside Rite Aid pharmacies in the Puget Sound region.

RediClinic CEO Web Golinkin has said that partnerships like these coupled with Rite Aid’s heritage as a healthcare provider signals a bright future for RediClinic. The company already has provided nearly 2 million patients with easy access to high-quality, affordable health care, and that number should only continue to rise in the coming years.

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PHARMACY

Wellness, preventive care offered at Walmart Care Clinics

BY Richard Monks

While Walmart has more than 100 clinics in its more than 5,000 stores nationwide, company executives said the walk-in health centers offer a cost-effective way for patients to receive acute and chronic medical care. As a result, the company plans to expand its network of clinics over the next few years.

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“We believe that consumers are going to want their healthcare delivered to them anywhere, anyway and any how they choose,” Jill Turner-Mitchael, SVP overseeing health and wellness for the company’s Sam’s Club unit said earlier this year at a meeting of the Northwest Arkansas Council’s Health Care Summit.

Executives said Walmart’s clinics fit in with the company’s broader effort to provide a comprehensive range of health services and give consumers more flexibility on how they get care.

Walmart’s model goes beyond basic acute care and offers more services normally associated with a primary care provider, such as wellness and preventive care and management of chronic conditions.

Walmart’s clinics include 79 outlets that are independently owned by local hospitals and healthcare groups, and operate under the Clinic at Walmart banner. Six clinics in Wisconsin operate under the Aurora Quick Care name.

Meanwhile, a little over two years ago, the company opened 18 Care Clinics. These corporate-owned clinics — five in Georgia, five in South Carolina and eight in Texas — are expected to be the first in a growing network of clinics owned and operated by Walmart.

Walmart’s commitment to its clinics was underscored last year when the company named retail clinic pioneer Sandy Ryan to lead its Care Clinic business.

The former chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care/Walgreens Healthcare Clinic who is credited with playing a central role in getting that venture off the ground, Ryan has been involved in health clinics for more than a quarter of a century. As chairwoman of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Convenient Care Association, she was instrumental in developing the trade group’s Quality and Safety Standards and implementing a third-party certification process for these standards.

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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.

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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.

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