Chain partners with regional health system to open up to 25 new clinics
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens plans to add up to 25 in-store clinics in Oregon and Washington under a clinical collaboration with regional health system Providence Health & Services, which will own and operate the clinics.
The drug chain said Thursday that the new retail clinics will be bannered Providence Express Care at Walgreens and, in the Seattle area, Swedish Express Care at Walgreens. Plans call for Walgreens and Providence to open three clinics in the Portland and Seattle areas early next year, with further expansion slated within the next two years.
Walgreens noted that the clinics will be the first to open at its drug stores under a collaborative services model. The company currently manages more than 400 Healthcare Clinic and provider practice locations nationwide.
“This is a reflection of our efforts to develop deeper and more strategic relationships with our health system partners,” Jeff Koziel, group vice president for Healthcare Clinics at Walgreens, said in a statement. “Collaboration among providers is key in today’s health care environment to help ensure continuity of patient care and to provide greater convenience and access for patients. We look forward to working with Providence to expand the retail clinic footprint at Walgreens and to help manage patients for both pharmacy and medical needs.”
Walgreens said the collaboration will provide an integrated health care option for patients with a known and trusted provider as well as help evolve the retail clinic model from urgent episodic care to more coordinated care.
Providence and Swedish Express Care at Walgreens will offer a convenient, affordable option for treating common illnesses and injuries, the drug chain said. The clinics will operate extended hours seven days a week, allow for walk-ins and same-day scheduling, and provide an after-hours option for care on evenings and weekends. Also, the Providence and Swedish electronic health record (EHR) platform will connect directly to the clinics to create a seamless experience, no matter where patients receive care, which the companies noted will result in better coordinated care and improved long-term health management.
In the first six clinics, Swedish providers will staff Issaquah, Kirkland and Renton, Wash., locations, while Providence providers will staff Beaverton and Milwaukie, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., locations.
“Accessing quality health care should be convenient and simple,” stated Mike Waters, senior vice president of physician services at Renton, Wash.-based Providence. “We believe this collaboration is a solution for health care providers to better serve populations. With Walgreens’ nationwide footprint and deep understanding of patients’ needs, together we can ease the way for consumers and ultimately create healthier communities.”
Plans also call for Walgreens and Providence to form a collaborative leadership governance council that will join Walgreens’ expertise in retail pharmacy and national Healthcare Clinic operations with Providence’s health system and patient care expertise. The companies said the council will explore opportunities for Providence to participate in Walgreens’ national retail clinic and pharmacy programs, as well as opportunities to integrate more retail health services and offerings at Walgreens.
A nonprofit Catholic health care ministry, Providence’s system and affiliates include 34 hospitals, 475 physician clinics, senior services, supportive housing and other health and educational services, serving patients in Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington.