Drug chain set to transfer ownership of five Healthcare Clinics
DEERFIELD, Ill., and MILWAUKEE — Aurora Health Care will own and operate eight health clinics in Walgreens stores across eastern Wisconsin.
Plans call for five current Walgreens Healthcare Clinics to transition to Aurora next spring, when the locations will become part of Aurora Health Care, the companies said Tuesday. Until the transfer, Walgreens will continue to manage those clinics. Aurora also is slated to open three new retail clinics in other area Walgreens stores in the spring.
All of the sites will be named Aurora QuickCare Clinic at Walgreens, the companies said. Also under the agreement, Walgreens and Aurora will establish a collaborative council to share best practices and experiences to help improve patient care, quality and satisfaction and lower health care costs. They also aim to explore ways to provide new community access points in serving the population of eastern Wisconsin.
“There is a growing need for convenient access to high-quality and affordable health care services,” Pat Carroll, chief medical officer for Walgreens Healthcare Clinics, said in a statement. “By entering into new, innovative retail clinic collaborations with established community health systems like Aurora Health Care, we continue to help serve that need. Today, we welcome Aurora and its shared commitment to delivering to patients an exceptional and personalized continuum of care.”
The eight Aurora QuickCare Clinic at Walgreens locations are in Mequon, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Milwaukee, Brookfield, Oshkosh, Ashwaubenon and Howard, Wis.
Aurora QuickCare Clinic at Walgreens locations will offer a range of health services, including quick, affordable diagnosis for common health concerns such as bronchitis, influenza and minor rashes, as well as vaccines for flu, pneumonia and meningitis. The locations will also be able to do pregnancy tests, tuberculosis tests and sports physicals.
The sites will operate seven days a week, including evenings. Aurora noted that care will be “truly integrated” and patients will have a seamless experience whether they visit an Aurora Health Care physician, an Aurora Health Care medical center or an Aurora QuickCare Clinic at Walgreens.
“At Aurora Health Care, we are constantly looking for ways to enhance access to care and make care more convenient, which is exactly what this new collaboration with Walgreens does,” stated Jeffrey Bahr, president-elect of Aurora Health Care Medical Group. “For those times when patients need quick, on-the-go care, we’re pleased to offer them access to Aurora’s high-quality, cost-efficient care with no appointment necessary, all inside a convenient neighborhood Walgreens.”
Recently, Walgreens has entered similar agreements with other health care providers to run its retail health clinics.
In April, Walgreens said that 27 Healthcare Clinics in its stores across the St. Louis region, including four clinics in Illinois, will transition to SSM Health in the fall fall and become a part of the SSM Health Medical Group. That followed an announcement in January that Walgreens was turning over the operation of 56 Healthcare Clinics at stores in the greater Chicagoland area to Advocate Health Care. And in August 2015, the drug chain said it would add up to 25 in-store clinics in Oregon and Washington under a clinical collaboration with regional health system Providence Health & Services, which would own and operate the clinics.
With the Walgreens agreement, Aurora is slated to close eight other QuickCare clinics — six in Walmart Superstores — in eastern Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A nonprofit health system, Aurora has sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois and serves more than 1.2 million patients annually. Its network of facilities, services and providers includes 15 hospitals, more than 150 clinics, more than 70 pharmacies and more than 32,000 caregivers.