KANSAS CITY, Mo. - HCA Midwest Health System, a healthcare provider here, and Walgreens on Tuesday announced a collaboration that will provide coordinated and expanded healthcare services for area residents, while enhancing access to high-quality, convenient and affordable care for patients.
“We are pleased to partner with Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens, knowing that this collaboration extends quality care directly into our communities to provide greater access options for patients,” said M.L. Lagarde III, president, HCA Midwest Health System. “We have all experienced the inconvenience of getting sick during the night or on weekends when the doctor’s office is closed. Through our relationship with Walgreens, we are able to provide HCA Midwest Health System patients a more comprehensive continuum of care, ensuring that patients are provided the right level of care, close to where they live, work and play."
According to Darryl Nelson, chief medical officer, HCA Midwest Health System, another important benefit is that Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens will complement HCA Midwest Health System’s robust physician network, urgent care and other facilities, acting as a treatment point for non-emergency situations.
The collaboration will include access to coordinated care through Kansas City metro area Healthcare Clinics at select Walgreens. Working with Walgreens, HCA Midwest Health System patients have added convenient, walk-in care options including care for minor injuries or illnesses, health testing and screening and support when their physicians’ offices may be closed, including after-hours and weekends, or when an Emergency Room visit is not required.
While Walgreens encourages all patients to have a designated primary care physician and medical home for ongoing needs, Healthcare Clinics at select Walgreens staff nurse practitioners who can write prescriptions and administer immunizations. Direct communication between Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners and HCA Midwest physicians can enable ongoing coordinated patient care.
“There truly is no substitute for an individual’s physician,” Nelson said. “What happens is that many patients view the emergency room as the only viable option for medical care in the evening, [during] the weekend or other times when the doctor's office may be closed, often resulting in higher costs for patients. ER’s are frequently crowded with ‘non-emergency’ patients who could be treated less expensively elsewhere. Healthcare Clinic nurse practitioners are skilled at quickly evaluating conditions, then treating or referring the patient to the appropriate next step, which can include physician follow-up, urgent care or the ER," he said. "Additionally, and with patient consent, Walgreens will be able to share information [with] their HCA Midwest Health System physician to provide a seamless and efficient plan of care, benefitting all parties."
HCA Midwest Health System — with seven hospitals, multiple urgent care and outpatient facilities, more than 450 providers and 145 physician office locations — provides care within the greater Kansas City region.