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Publix proceeds with innovative care partnership

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Hospital pharmacies, health kiosks, clinics set to roll out

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix Pharmacy has in place the first piece of a three-pronged partnership with BayCare Health System, which serves the Tampa Bay and central Florida region.

Publix Super Markets Inc. said Thursday that Publix retail pharmacies are now open at St. Anthony’s Hospital’s Suncoast Medical Clinic in St. Petersburg, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa and Morton Plant Hospital’s new Doyle Tower in Clearwater. Plans call for Publix pharmacies also to open at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor and at Winter Haven Hospital.

“Opening BayCare in-hospital pharmacies is part of the exciting collaboration we announced in March,” Publix vice president of pharmacy operations Fred Ottolino said in a statement. “It isn’t just about filling prescriptions as patients leave the hospital; it’s about providing a continuum of convenient medical care. As our relationship grows, we hope to bring even more care options to both BayCare patients and Publix customers.”

Publix Pharmacy

Under the Publix-BayCare partnership, Publix agreed to buy, renovate and operate the BayCare retail pharmacies at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Mease Countryside Hospital, Morton Plant Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital, and to build the Publix Pharmacy at Winter Haven Hospital.

After opening its fifth pharmacy at BayCare, Publix will operate 10 hospital pharmacies in Florida. Publix pharmacy services at BayCare include bedside prescription delivery to patients during hospital discharge, access to specialty medications and refills at any Publix pharmacy location.

“We are excited about this important step in providing seamless, connected care that improves health and care delivery,” stated Glenn Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer at BayCare. “Our care doesn’t end when a patient leaves a BayCare hospital, and neither should our medication management for our patients. The Publix operation of on-site hospital retail pharmacies will facilitate the opportunity for continuity of medication management as patients are discharged from our hospitals.”

In the next piece of the Publix Pharmacy-BayCare collaboration, BayCare HealthHub kiosks are slated to be deployed at all Publix stores in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties by the end of the year. The free biometric health screening stations will enable customers to get blood pressure, pulse, weight and body mass index information. BayCare patients also will be send the data directly to their doctor from the HealthHub.

The last piece entails the rollout of about 25 walk-in telehealth clinics at Publix stores in the four-county area within the next two years. Each telehealth site will provide non-urgent medical care via remote access to board-certified physicians. Patients will be able to communicate with doctors in a private room featuring teleconferencing and medical diagnostic equipment. Publix Pharmacy support staff will be available to assist patients.

“Having an additional option for non-urgent medical care in Publix stores provides a quick and easy alternative for customers to seek treatment for non-urgent conditions,” according to Ottolino. “We are excited to partner with BayCare to provide this innovative offering as we continue to expand our pharmacy services.”

Fees to use the telehealth sites stand to be competitive with a typical doctor’s office visit co-payment. The HealthHub kiosks will use higi health station technology.

“We are focused on helping individuals access the right level of care in the right place and this collaboration does just that,” Waters added. “BayCare believes that making access to health care more convenient through community partnerships is essential to improving the health of our community.”

Overall, Publix operates more than 1,000 pharmacies in seven states in the Southeast.


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