Integrating health solutions for payers, Walgreens unifies pharmacy, wellness, led by Crawford

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens’ long campaign to overhaul and integrate its pharmacy and clinical health components culminated Monday in the company’s announcement that it had restructured its healthcare divisions to create a unified pharmacy, health and wellness solution. That solution, Walgreens reported, is tailored to meet the needs of employers, managed care organizations, pharmacy benefit managers and government clients searching for more cost-effective care for their health plan members.


“In the past several years, Walgreens has developed a broad set of … accessible pharmacy, health and wellness services unmatched in our industry,” president and CEO Greg Wasson said. “We are now aligning these services across the entire company, enabling us to provide services to payers as a single, seamless integrated solution.



“Simply put, we are integrating Walgreens' 70,000 healthcare providers, on the front lines of health care across the organization, with a unified sales team offering pharmacy, health and wellness solutions for the benefit of our payer clients and their patients,” he added.



The changes are wide-ranging and include shifts in management. Among them:

  • Walgreens' health services division’s specialty pharmacy, infusion pharmacy, mail-service pharmacy, medical campus pharmacies, long-term care pharmacy and home care services will move to the company’s core pharmacy division, which is led by EVP Kermit Crawford.
  • Walgreens has created a new, combined “Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Solutions” sales and client services organization. The group will be led by Joe Terrion, who has been chief client officer in charge of sales and service in the health and wellness division. Terrion will continue to report to Hal Rosenbluth, Walgreens SVP and president of health and wellness.
  • Peter Hotz, president of Walgreens’ Take Care Health Employer Solutions group, will oversee the Walgreens Health Initiatives pharmacy benefit management unit.



In line with the overhaul, Walgreens Health Services president Stan Blaylock will leave the company in April, following a transition period, to pursue “new entrepreneurial opportunities in the healthcare field,” the company noted. Blaylock was a co-founder and CEO of Medmark Specialty Pharmacy Solutions before the company was acquired by Walgreens in 2006.



Wasson praised Blaylock, noting, “Walgreens has been fortunate to have Stan’s leadership and industry experience at a time when we greatly expanded our specialty and home care businesses. He helped to nurture and grow these businesses with a relentless client focus into mature entities, where they can now be fully integrated into our pharmacy operations.”



Walgreens’ chief executive also noted the strong leadership provided by Crawford and Rosenbluth.



“Kermit and Hal will bring together all our pharmacy, health and wellness services and take them to the marketplace as a single, robust integrated offering,” he said. “Kermit’s 27 years of experience and strong leadership at Walgreens will ensure that we provide premier service, cohesively and comprehensively across our full range of pharmacy operations. And Hal’s strength and decades of experience in leading B2B sales and service organizations will enable us to meet or exceed our clients’ expectations for integrated pharmacy, health and wellness solutions.”



At its essence, the restructuring is an attempt by Walgreens to integrate and bring to bear all of its more than 8,000 “points of care,” on behalf of employers, government and managed care. The new Pharmacy, Health and Wellness Solutions business will draw on all the company’s health-provider assets, including:

  • More than 7,100 retail pharmacies
  • More than 100 medical campus pharmacies
  • Specialty and infusion pharmacy service
  • Mail-service pharmacy and long-term care pharmacy
  • Preventive health and wellness services, including retail and worksite health centers and immunization services, home medical equipment and supplies, respiratory services and chronic care management
  • Pharmacy benefit administrative services, including integrated reporting and outcomes analysis



The result, according to Wasson, will be “a unified offering to payers in the healthcare marketplace,” as well as “increased efficiencies across Walgreens’ pharmacy, health and wellness operations. The reorganization also will “provide savings in overhead as some overlapping functions are consolidated,” the company noted.


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