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WBA launches Walgreens Health amid wider health strategy rollout

Walgreens Health is a business segment focused on Walgreens Boots Alliance’s capabilities in primary care, post-acute care and home care — including its investments in VillageMD and CareCentrix. 
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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As it shared the results of its expectation-beating fourth quarter and full fiscal year on Thursday, Walgreens Boots Alliance also rolled out its new healthcare strategy at its virtual investor conference.

The new strategy includes the creation of Walgreens Health, a business segment  focused on its capabilities in primary care, post-acute care and home care — including its investments in VillageMD and CareCentrix. 

[Read more: Retailer of the Year 2021: Walgreens seizes its omnichannel opportunity]

“I am pleased to announce WBA’s new strategy to transform our core businesses, focus our portfolio and launch our next growth engine of consumer-centric healthcare solutions, enabled by a high-performance culture and winning team,” said Roz Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. “Our strategy leverages an ecosystem including our trusted brands, exceptional assets, healthcare expertise and scale, integrated with a range of new talent, capabilities, resources and an intensified focus on operational excellence to drive long-term sustainable profit growth.”

The company said Walgreens Health will be focused on bringing equitable, personalized health care to local communities across the country in whatever setting is best for the patient, including in-store, at home, in the doctor’s office and via mobile app. Walgreens Health will work with payers to overhaul the patient experience, improve outcomes and lower costs by leveraging the retailer’s consumer relationships, national scale, care teams and partnerships with payers and providers. 

[Read more: WBA names 2 key executives]

The partnerships and investments in VillageMD and CareCentrix will anchor Walgreens Health. With WBA’s increased investment in VillageMD announced Thursday — making it a 63% stakeholder — the two have plans to open at least 80 co-located primary care clinics by the end of year and more than 600 across 30-plus markets by 2025, with plans to have more than 1,000 by 2027. WBA also owns a majority stake in CareCentrix, with its $330 million investment supporting the company’s new healthcare strategy and giving Walgreens reach into the home care sector. As a post-acute care company, CareCentrix manages care for more than 19 million members across 7,400 provider locations. 

Both partnerships will build on the newly launched Walgreens Health Corners, in-person and virtual spaces that offer clinical and nonclinical services from such clinicians and pharmacists and registered nurses. Among those payer relationships are the ones Walgreens has forged with Clover Health and Blue Shield of California – which collectively comprise more than 2 million patient lives.