Drug chain to expand access to more than two dozen states
The drug chain said Wednesday that as part of the effort, Walgreens mobile app users in Colorado, Illinois and Washington can now access telehealth services, provided through its partnership with MDLIVE. Also, users can now access the platform via the Walgreens website on desktop and tablet devices in states where the service is offered.
Walgreens and MDLIVE launched the platform in December for Walgreens mobile app users in California and Michigan. The 24/7 service, available in iOS and Android versions of the Walgreens app, enables users to consult virtually with MDLIVE’s network of U.S. board-certified doctors for a range of acute conditions. The physicians also can e-prescribe medications. Visits with a participating MDLIVE doctor cost $49.
“As we continue to advance our telehealth strategy and expand our digital footprint, we’re pleased to help offer unparalleled access to medical professionals for more of our customers,” Adam Pellegrini, divisional vice president of digital health at Walgreens, said in a statement. “Our society truly values anytime, anywhere convenience. And with a growing need for access to affordable health care services, we believe telehealth solutions can play an important role in helping to improve patient outcomes and continues our mission to provide a seamless, omnichannel digital health experience.”
MDLIVE’s cloud-based Virtual Medical Office software allows patients, health professionals and plan administrators to collaborate seamlessly and securely via voice, video, e-mail and mobile devices. Payers and providers can also use the HIPAA and PHI-compliant system to collect and share clinical data from patient medical records, lab results and in-home biometric devices for real-time risk assessments, wellness advice, diagnosis and treatment.
In 2013, as part of its telehealth offering, Walgreens launched its Pharmacy Chat feature, which allows users to chat live 24/7 with members of the chain’s pharmacy staff. The relationship with MDLIVE marked an expansion of the platform by adding virtual doctor visits.
“MDLIVE and Walgreens share a commitment to offering consumers more choice for convenient, quality and cost-effective care,” stated MDLIVE chief executive officer Randy Parker, “And we look forward to working together to roll out our services in more states and more communities throughout the year.”
Walgreens and MDLIVE are members of the Alliance for Connected Care, a coalition of health care delivery companies that aims to raise policymakers’ awareness of telehealth and remote patient monitoring technology and broaden patient access to connected care.
The coalition was formed early last year by former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D., S.D.) and Trent Lott (R., Miss.) and former Sen. John Breaux (D., La.). Besides Walgreens, the group’s pharmacy industry participants include CVS Caremark, Cardinal Health and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.