Retail News Breaks
Rite Aid, OptumHealth unveil 'virtual clinic'
September 15th, 2011
CAMP HILL, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. has partnered with OptumHealth to introduce NowClinic Online Care, which provides 24x7 real-time access to health care services and information, at some of the drug chain's stores in the greater Detroit area.
The companies said Thursday that Rite Aid and OptumHealth are the first to provide a virtual clinic in a retail pharmacy setting.
Through private, face-to-face consultations using the Internet, Rite Aid customers can see and speak directly to doctors who are able to discuss symptoms, provide guidance, diagnose and prescribe certain medications when appropriate. Customers can also interact with OptumHealth nurses, who are able to address a range of health care needs such as basic health care education, information on common acute issues and assistance in identifying appropriate provider options for care.
A customer record is automatically captured at the end of each interaction and is available for immediate sharing with a customer's primary care provider, maintaining continuity of care, the companies noted.
Customers can have consultations with doctors and interact with OptumHealth nurses via NowClinic Online Care inside private consultation rooms inside the following nine Rite Aid pharmacies in the Detroit area: Belleville, Canton, Novi, Oak Park, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Troy and Waterford.
Rite Aid added that customers can also access NowClinic Online Care anytime by visiting myNowClinic.com/RiteAid. Currently, conversations with nurses are complimentary, and a 10-minute consultation with a doctor costs $45, the chain said.
"This collaboration reflects Rite Aid;s continuing commitment to support the total health and well-being of our communities," Robert Thompson, executive vice president of pharmacy at Rite Aid, said in a statement. "Our customers will be able to ask questions or receive care from doctors and health education from nurses online, fill prescriptions, and consult with their Rite Aid pharmacist, all in one convenient visit."
NowClinic services are supported through a technology platform provided by American Well, which is also used for the Rite Aid Online Care service that provides live consultations with a Rite Aid pharmacist via the Web.
"OptumHealth's vision for NowClinic is to provide consumers with greater control of their health care experience," stated Chris Stidman, senior vice president of OptumHealth Care Solutions. "We are excited that this collaboration will help Detroit-area residents connect with doctors, OptumHealth nurses and other care providers in the trusted, convenient settings of their community Rite Aid pharmacies in Michigan."
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