As part of a growing trend linking traditional healthcare providers with retailers, HCA Midwest Health System announced Tuesday that it will offer coordinated care at select Walgreens stores.
HCA, the biggest health system in Kansas City, said the Walgreens Healthcare Clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners, who will provide care for minor illnesses and injuries, health testing and other non-emergency services.
“We have all experienced the inconvenience of getting sick during the night or on weekends when the doctor’s office is closed,” M.L. Lagarde III, president of HCA Midwest, said in a prepared statement. “Through our relationship with Walgreens, we are able to provide HCA Midwest Health System patients more access options, ensuring that patients are provided the right level of care, close to where they live, work and play.”
The collaboration is the latest example of hospitals partnering with drugstore chains and even grocers as they seek to take advantage of the growing numbers of insured Americans. Walgreens, the nation’s biggest pharmacy chain, last month said it would collaborate with CHE Trinity Health, which operates more than 80 hospitals in 20 states, to offer coordinated care in select markets.
The nurse practitioners at the Walgreens clinics will be able to write prescriptions and administer vaccinations.
HCA said that, with patients’ consent, Walgreens will be able to share information with their physicians at HCA.
Health Midwest operates seven hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, physician centers and surgery centers. It has more than 9,000 employees.
Walgreens operates 8,231 drugstores in all 50 states and posted 2013 sales of $72 billion.