Rite Aid expands capabilities with two acquisitions

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CAMP HILL, Pa. — Two acquisitions have bolstered Rite Aid Corp’s integrated health care offerings.

The chain this month announced the purchase of the RediClinic chain of walk-in clinics in Texas as well as the acquisition of Health Dialog Services Corp., a provider of health coaching, shared decision making and analytics.

The purchase price of RediClinic and Health Dialog was under $100 million, Rite Aid chief financial officer Frank Vitrano said during a conference call discussing the chain’s fourth quarter results.

RediClinic operates 30 clinics in greater Houston, Austin and San Antonio. The business “is a pioneer and a leader,” says Rite Aid chairman and chief executive officer John Standley, “having provided high-quality, convenient and affordable health care to nearly one and a half million people since opening its first clinic in 2005.

“Retail clinics play a critical role in today’s health care delivery system and will play an important role in Rite Aid’s overall health and wellness strategy,” adds Standley. “We are committed to working with RediClinic to expand its current footprint in Texas and, in the near future, begin to bring its expertise in delivering convenient health care and wellness programs to Rite Aid customers in select Rite Aid markets.”

Vitrano said the chain expects to open an additional 70 RediClinics over the next 18 to 24 months.

RediClinics are staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are trained and licensed to treat common conditions and provide preventive services in collaboration with local physicians who are affiliated with a health care system in each market. Patients can get prescriptions and be treated for more than 30 conditions.

Preventive services include screenings, medical tests, immunizations and basic physical exams. The company’s Weigh Forward weight/lifestyle management program is offered at RediClinics, and it is licensed to other providers as well.

“Through our new relationship with Rite Aid, RediClinic is well positioned for continued growth in Texas and other states,” says CEO Web Golinkin. “Rite Aid enables us to leverage our many years of experience in retail health care to the benefit of patients throughout the U.S., and we look forward to working with the Rite Aid team to deliver on our shared mission of helping people live and stay well.”

The purchase of Health Dialog from Bupa, a London-based international health care services group., supports and advances Rite Aid Health Alliance, a pioneering health management collaboration among various providers to deliver comprehensive care and support to individuals with chronic and polychronic conditions. Health Dialog has been working closely with Rite Aid over the past year as the program has been developed and provides care coaches.

“We are extremely pleased to have Health Dialog become a part of the Rite Aid family and believe this strategic acquisition will be mutually beneficial to both companies,” says Standley. “This acquisition will provide Health Dialog with an expanded footprint to grow its existing business as well as further leverage the company’s coaching services’ expertise as we work to bring Rite Aid Health Alliance to more Rite Aid markets and customers.

“Additionally, we will benefit from Health Dialog’s industry-leading analytics and shared-decision-making tools, helping us to better serve the health and wellness needs of our customers and further develop our pharmacy services as a growing retail health care company.”

Through the alliance, a first-of-its-kind program in the drug store industry, patients with such chronic and polychronic conditions as congestive heart failure, COPD, high cholesterol and diabetes are recommended for care by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained in-store care coaches work with the physician and patient on an ongoing basis to improve the patient’s overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers and create a personalized action plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

Rite Aid Health Alliance is being piloted at selected stores in Buffalo, N.Y.; Greensboro, N.C.; and greater Los Angeles.

“Rite Aid shares our vision of empowering people and delivering health-supporting behavior change programs, with the goal of improving the well-being of the individuals and communities we serve,” says Health Dialog CEO Robert ­Mandel.

“We look forward to this new relationship and to an exciting future for Health Dialog as we work with Rite Aid to expand Rite Aid Health Alliance and pursue new opportunities to grow Health Dialog’s portfolio of clients and services.”



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