Walgreens Health, a division of Walgreens Boots Alliance that works on the development of consumer-centric and technology-enabled healthcare solutions, announced a new collaboration with Buckeye Health Plan.
Together, the two companies plan on bringing innovative health-and-wellness services to Medicaid members in five northeast Ohio neighborhood locations this summer.
Buckeye Health Plan, an Ohio managed care company, is the third payer to partner with Walgreens Health to launch Walgreens Health Corner locations. Walgreens Health is now contracted to serve more than 2.27 million patients, with additional partners are in California and New Jersey across commercial and Medicare plan patient populations respectively. By the end of 2022, the number of current Walgreens Health Corners will expand from 55 to approximately 100 locations, which include the additional five in Ohio.
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“Walgreens Health Corners are breaking down barriers and expanding access to much-needed health care, advice and services for our Medicaid members right in their neighborhoods,” said Buckeye Health Plan CEO Steve Province. “This collaboration opens the door to highly personalized, quality care given by trusted local healthcare professionals. It’s a major innovation that perfectly aligns with Buckeye’s vision to transform the health of the community, one person at a time.”
Walgreens Health Corner locations will offer eligible Ohio Medicaid members access to an integrated healthcare experience led by Health Advisors, who are pharmacists or registered nurses. Health Advisors will provide a range of health and clinical services that supplement care received from primary care physicians and specialists. Patient care services and associated outcomes will be shared with Buckeye Health Plan and additional patient care providers to support individualized, holistic care.
Services that will be offered at Walgreens Health Corner locations range from preventive care and wellness checks to assist with managing chronic conditions and include:
- Select health screenings, such as blood pressure checks, BMI assessments and HbA1c tests;
- Scheduling mammography appointments;
- Providing test kits for colorectal cancer and diabetic urine screenings;
- Counsel from Health Advisors on general health questions;
- Answering questions about prescription and over-the-counter medications;
- Assistance with technology needs — digital health applications and monitoring devices;
- Administering health risk surveys to collect important data to influence intervention efforts; and
- Verifying member information to share updates on health plans, providers and Walgreens Healthcare team.
The services will be available at no additional cost to eligible Buckeye Health Plan members in northeast Ohio.
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“Healthcare is inherently local. 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,” said John Do, interim president and chief financial officer of Walgreens Health. “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.”
This new collaboration follows a successful Walgreens Pharmacy pilot program launched with Buckeye Health Plan in 2021 to support asthma and COPD patients as part of a multi-phased approach to support comprehensive expanded clinical services. Through the pilot, Walgreens pharmacists counseled patients on how to use their inhalers, provided proactive outreach to non-adherent patients, and used predictive modeling to reach out to people at high risk for becoming non-adherent. To date, more than 1,900 pharmacist consultations have been completed, the company said.
Buckeye Health Plan was one of the first payers to reimburse pharmacists for these services in Ohio, made possible through recent state legislative changes. This was the first expanded disease state management pilot for asthma/COPD in partnership with a payer to include pediatric and adult Managed Medicaid, Medicare and Health Exchange patients.
The company said that learnings from the pilot will be applied to future disease state management programs between Walgreens and Buckeye Health.