Inaugural Walgreens health conference addresses care continuum efficiencies

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Representatives from leading health systems came together over the past two days to discuss evolving efforts in coordinated patient care at the first Walgreens Health Systems Executive Client Forum, Walgreens stated Thursday.

The event featured presentations from health care thought leaders, health system representatives and Walgreens executives. Throughout the forum, attendees participated in activities to identify and share best practices on how health systems can improve quality of care, reduce readmissions and drive cost savings for patients and payers through innovative pharmacy and wellness initiatives.
Jefferson School of Population Health dean, David Nash, spoke on the role of population health efforts in driving outcomes and moderated a panel discussion on improving coordination across the care continuum, limiting patient readmissions and ensuring that clinicians operate to the extent of their licensure in order to improve access in the health care system. Donna Shalala, president of the University of Miami and former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services provided the keynote address to attendees at the two-day event.

“As millions of new individuals enter a healthcare system that is adapting to evolving patient needs, new reimbursement models and elements of health reform, the benefits of bringing innovators and thought leaders together was powerful," stated Katie Lestan, Walgreens divisional VP, health systems. “Walgreens network of more than 8,000 pharmacy and health-and-wellness locations puts us in close contact with thousands of healthcare institutions and providers across the nation. This in turn puts us in a unique position to assemble health leaders to strategize on lowering costs and improving outcomes for patients and payers.”
In the past year, Walgreens publicly announced a number of efforts with health systems across the country. Notable relationships include the development of a chronic care coordination program between Walgreens pharmacists and Northwestern Memorial Health Care physicians in Chicago; and the formation of coordinated care arrangements between Take Care Clinics at select Walgreens and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and LSU Healthcare Network, as well as with Ochsner Health System in New Orleans and with Memorial Health System in Jacksonville, Fla.

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