Walgreens puts doctors in drugstores

 

VillageMD will staff and run the primary-care clinics. The partnership will open the clinics in 500 to 700 stores in more than 30 U.S. markets over the next five years. 

Walgreens will invest US$1 billion in equity and convertible debt in VillageMD over the next three years as part of the deal. Most of the money will be used by VillageMD to open the clinics and integrate its technology with Walgreens.

VillageMD will pay employees’ salaries, cover other operating expenses and pay Walgreens to use the space. 

Walgreens is expanding its focus on medical care as it cuts costs and invests in new areas.  It leases space in some stores to optical company For Eyes and weight loss company Jenny Craig. 

Walgreens already has 14 primary-care centres in its drugstores, through partnerships with providers VillageMD, Partners in Primary Care and Southwest Medical Associates.

Through the new partnership, patients will be able to visit the Village Medical at Walgreens clinics for a wide range of medical services from annual check-ups to walk-in appointments. Each clinic will have nine exam rooms, a waiting area and a four-person physician-led staff that coordinates with store pharmacists. They can also request a home visit or get care around the clock through telemedicine.

Village Medical clinics will accept health insurance and allow people to pay out of pocket. For those without insurance, it uses a sliding scale to make care affordable.

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