Inside This Issue - News
Take Care Clinics extend reach to chronic conditions
April 22nd, 2013
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has expanded the scope of its Take Care Clinics to include handling such chronic diseases as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.
“With this service expansion, Take Care Clinics now provide the most comprehensive service offering within the retail clinic industry and can play an even more valuable role in helping patients get, stay and live well,” says Dr. Jeffrey Kang, Walgreens’ senior vice president of health and wellness services and solutions. “Through greater access to services and a broader focus on disease prevention and chronic condition management, our clinics can connect and work with physicians and other providers to better help support the increasing demands on our health care system today.”
The new services will be offered in more than 300 Take Care Clinics in Walgreens stores across the country, with the exception of those in the company’s outlets in Missouri.
Walgreens’ strategy to expand the services it offers in its clinics follows the decision by CVS Caremark Corp a few years ago to start monitoring chronic conditions at most of its 640 MinuteClinics.
Kang says a number of factors led Walgreens to step up the services offered at its clinics.
A physician shortage that is only expected to get worse after health care reform goes into effect next year and adds 30 million people to the ranks of the insured, the country’s aging population, and a growing prevalence of chronic diseases all led Walgreens to decide the time was right to expand the services it offers in its clinics, he notes.
Besides providing chronic condition management, the nurse practitioners in Take Care Clinics will evaluate, recommend and order preventive health services such as screenings or lab tests based on a patient’s age, gender and family history.
Since their inception in 2000, retail clinics have continued to gain consumer acceptance and recognition for the level of care they provide.
A recent Rand Corp. study showed that the use of walk-in retail clinics has increased 10-fold over the past two years, and many predict that the number of patient turning to retail clinics will continue to increase in the coming years.
“The existing gaps in patient care and demands on an already overburdened health care system are all projected to worsen with an influx of new patients under health care reform,” says Heather Helle, divisional vice president for Walgreens’ consumer solutions group. “Walgreens is stepping up to be part of the solution.”
Helle adds, “As innovative care delivery models emerge, we are uniquely positioned to play an integral role in addressing the needs of patients, payers and providers and to help shape the future of health care delivery in the U.S.”