Regional chain eyes additional in-store clinics in the coming months
Through a partnership between Bartell and nonprofit health system Group Health Cooperative, CareClinics were opened in the early part of 2014 at the drug chain’s Ballard and University Village stores in Seattle and at its Crossroads store in Bellevue.
The companies said Tuesday that patient usage of the walk-in medical clinics has tripled in the year since their opening, but January 2015 was the busiest month for the inaugural three locations.
“The CareClinic partnership between two Seattle-based organizations is a great example of innovation and collaboration to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” Bartell Drugs chairman and chief executive officer George Bartell said in a statement. “While it’s an exciting business model, the ultimate goal is the health and wellness of patients.”
CareClinic provides affordable, immediate care for a range of minor medical needs. Each clinic is staffed by advanced registered nurse practitioners or certified physician assistants. Visits are typically treated as an office visit by insurance carriers or cost $75, with lab tests typically adding $15 per procedure.
The new openings planned for Bartell stores will bring convenient care “to the north, south, east and west of Seattle,” the companies said.
“Group Health allows consumers to seek care on their terms, whether in the doctor’s office, by e-mail, through virtual and mobile phone applications, or in neighborhood gathering places, like Bartell Drugs,” stated Scott Armstrong, Group Health president and CEO. “We are pleased to expand our existing relationship with Bartell and broaden the access points where consumers can receive the quality and affordable care they’ve come to know at Group Health.”
Last month, the CareClinic service received top honors for “Innovation in Health Care Delivery” at the 2015 Leaders in Health Care Awards by Seattle Business Magazine. The CareClinic joint venture of Bartell and Group Health was among 19 organizations across Washington state spotlighted at the awards event.
Seattle-based Bartell Drugs operates 63 stores in Washington’s King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. Group Health serves nearly 600,000 patients across Washington state.