Walgreens is on track to open 100 Health Corners by the end of the year as part of the drugstore chain’s effort to help health plan subscribers better manage chronic conditions.
Walgreens Health Corners are different than the more than 1,100 MinuteClinics staffed by nurse practitioners or the Village Medical at Walgreens clinics staffed by physicians that are also being rolled out next to drugstores across the country. Walgreens executives say the health corners, which have dedicated space in stores or digitally via the company’s app “act as connective tissue to help patients stay on track, especially when they’re between doctor’s visits.”
The health corners, which are part of the company’s Walgreens Health division, offer health plan members access to “health advisors” who include pharmacists or registered nurses who work collaboratively with the health plans. Walgreens last month partnered with Buckeye Health Plan, an Ohio Medicaid insurer, “to bring innovative health and wellness services to Medicaid members in five northeast Ohio neighborhood locations this summer.”
The Buckeye Health Plan partnership is the third health plan Walgreens has negotiated and will result in five new health corner locations open by the end of summer.
On Thursday, Walgreens chief executive officer Roz Brewer said the Buckeye Health Plan partnership is a boost to the company’s financial targets for this year for Walgreens Health. “Walgreens Health achieved 65% pro forma sales growth with progress on several fronts, including adding Buckeye Health Plan as a strategic partner, already exceeding our 2022 target for covered lives, and launching our clinical trials business,” she said in the company’s fiscal third quarter earnings announcement.
There are currently 55 Health Corner locations open in California and New Jersey and those numbers will rise to 60 with the Ohio additions by the end of the summer with Walgreens on track to open 100 by the end of 2022, Walgreens said.
“Healthcare is inherently local,” said John Do, interim president and chief financial officer of Walgreens Health. “Our collaboration with Buckeye Health Plan will allow us to tailor our health services based on the needs of the Medicaid members and communities we serve. These services are designed to reduce gaps between recommended best practices for a patient’s care and the care that’s actually provided, as well as to improve care management and coordination through access to more affordable and convenient services where Buckeye Health Plan members live.”