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Walgreens Rolls Out Retail Health Offering into “Underserved Communities”
05/01/22

Walgreens Rolls Out Retail Health Offering into “Underserved Communities”

Since acquiring VillageMD in 2021, Walgreens Boots Alliance has been expanding the footprint of the doctor-staffed clinics at a breakneck pace, opening a new location nearly every three days.

The rapid escalation comes as the retailer looks to grow its “Walgreens Health” line of business across the U.S. More than half of the co-branded clinics will be in underserved areas. In addition to being, at least conceptually, a good business decision; the growth strategy is also pointed toward the retailer’s mission of driving a healthier future for American consumers. Walgreens’ coordinated care model leverages a tech-enabled platform paired with physician-led care teams comprised of both doctors and pharmacists to optimize patient care management. 

There is a bit of a horse race currently underway between drugstore and pharmacy chains to reinvent, or perhaps evolve, their offerings and store experiences as promoting and better supporting shopper health and wellness. Walgreens competitors like CVS Health and even Walmart have also been committing billions of dollars into innovative and convenient primary care initiatives. 

Each of the Walgreens’ VillageMD locations include on average up to eight exam rooms, and they are typically staffed by at least two doctors along with additional healthcare professionals such as pharmacists. As of writing, the company has 102 of its neighborhood health destinations opened and operating, with a current in-progress goal of 200 to be open soon, and some 600 locations open and serving communities by 2025. 

The practices, many of which are geared toward the needs of underserved communities and neighborhoods, offer a wide range of health services. Low-cost, close-to-home solutions including longitudinal care for patients with chronic health conditions, as well as preventive services and treatment for various illnesses and injuries offer the future of retailer-provided healthcare delivery and wellness consulting. Walgreens’ Village MD rollout accepts most major insurance providers, and also offers out-of-pocket and sliding scale pricing options for patients. 

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This article originally appeared in the PSFK wellness retail strategy-report, Reframing The Store As A Health & Wellness Experience.