PHARMACY

Walgreens ad focuses on pharmacy’s and clinic’s roll in healthcare reform

BY Drug Store News Team

This full-page ad taken out by Walgreens is important as it comes at a time when healthcare reform is top of mind.

The ad serves as a call to action for healthcare providers, along with state and federal government, to work together to develop a high quality and affordable healthcare system. It also calls for payers, politicians and policy makers to recognize the value of an expanded role for retail-based clinics beyond simply acute care.

Many industry members have long called the U.S. healthcare system “broken” and have stressed the important role that retail-based clinics can play in providing patients with quality, affordable and convenient health care. With a new administration at the helm, industry members are shouting that message louder than ever.

As the ad points out, retail-based clinics are only part of the equation. Worksite clinics are also proving to be an invaluable lever against rising healthcare costs for big employers. But aside from curbing costs, worksite clinics have been shown to reduce absenteeism, improve productivity, promote preventative health and wellness, and can be used by employers as an attractive recruitment and retention tool.

And, as the largest operator of worksite clinics, perhaps no one understands the importance better than Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems. Take Care Employer Solutions is the division of Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems that operates well over 300 worksite clinics.

But the bottom line is that the ad urges cooperation. Since retail-based clinics first hit the radar screen, clinic operators have stressed the importance of working together with local healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care. From day one, clinic operators have made it very clear that they are not striving to become a patient’s medical home but are looking to augment those services provided by one’s primary care physician.

Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that Walgreens, through its Health and Wellness division, is calling on everyone in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in corporate America to unite and work aggressively toward healthcare reform.

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MinuteClinic now provider of BlueCross BlueShield of S.C.

BY Antoinette Alexander

MINNEAPOLIS MinuteClinic, the retail-based clinic operator owned by CVS Caremark, has become a provider in the Preferred Blue network of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.

Under the partnership, BlueCross? Preferred Blue and Medicare Advantage members now have in-network access to MinuteClinic locations in the Columbiaand Greenville markets. 

In September, the company opened its first retail-based clinic in South Carolina inside select CVS stores in Greenville, Lexington and Richland counties. 

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CVS/pharmacy announces launch of ‘A Su Salud’ health fairs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS/pharmacy has announced the launch of its 2009 “A Su Salud” (To Your Health) health fairs, which are held to help build awareness about the importance of prevention and help promote early detection of disease.

The health fairs, which will provide free health screenings, will be held in such cities as Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston.

In 2008, the company provided free and low-cost medical screenings and services valued at $55 million to the community through the A Su Salud program and direct referrals from the events. This year, CVS/pharmacy renews its commitment to preventative care and again will offer comprehensive health risk assessments at more than 750 store-based events.

Of the individuals screened last year, 47% had high cholesterol, 39% had a high-to-moderate risk of developing osteoporosis, 27% had hypertension and 21% had diabetes, with more than half being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time.

Many of the health fairs also focused on cancer screening for women, who comprised 78% of the A Su Salud event attendees in 2008. This year, CVS/pharmacy again will partner with local and state agencies to host mobile units offering low-cost and no-cost cancer detection services for women, including mammograms and pap smears.

Once screened, CVS/pharmacy helps patients through on-site physician consults that analyze the results and refer patients to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities within that neighborhood, or to their primary care physician should additional follow-up be required.

For more information and a full calendar of A Su Salud events, visit www.asusalud.com or call (888) 604-0333.

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