Retail News Breaks Archives
Walgreens hosts health systems forum
September 30th, 2011
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. this week brought together representatives from leading health systems to discuss evolving efforts in coordinated patient care at the first Walgreens Health Systems Executive Client Forum.
The two-day event featured presentations from health care thought leaders — including a keynote address by former U.S. secretary of health and human services Donna Shalala — as well as health system representatives and Walgreens executives. The drug store chain said attendees participated in activities to identify and share best practices on ways health systems can improve the quality of care, reduce readmissions and realize cost savings for patients and payers through innovative pharmacy and wellness initiatives.
Dr. David Nash, dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health, gave insight about the role of population health efforts in driving outcomes. He also moderated a panel discussion on improving coordination across the care continuum, limiting patient readmissions and ensuring that clinicians operate to the extent of their licensure to widen access in the health care system.
Walgreens executives also delivered presentations at the forum, including "Ensuring Care Along the Continuum: Challenges and Possible Solutions" by chief medical officer Cheryl Pegus, "HealthCloud: Enabling Improved Care Through Enhanced Technology" by chief information officer Tim Theriault and "Extending Health System Reach Into the Community via Retail Clinics" by group vice president Peter Hotz.
"As millions of new individuals enter a health care system that is adapting to evolving patient needs, new reimbursement models and elements of health reform, the benefits of bringing innovators and thought leaders together was powerful," Katie Lestan, divisional vice president of health systems at Walgreens, said in a statement. "Walgreens' network of more than 8,000 pharmacy and health and wellness locations puts us in close contact with thousands of health care institutions and providers across the nation. This, in turn, puts us in a unique position to assemble health leaders to strategize on lowering costs and improving outcomes for patients and payers."
During the past year, Walgreens has announced relationships with health systems nationwide. Those include the development of a chronic care coordination program between Walgreens pharmacists and Northwestern Memorial Health Care physicians in Chicago and the formation of coordinated care arrangements between Take Care Clinics and the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and LSU Healthcare Network, as well as with Ochsner Health System in New Orleans and with Memorial Health System in Jacksonville, Fla.