Pair will ‘evaluate customer response’ and possibly expand to additional stores.
The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based retailer this month announced mobile primary care clinic availability at three stores in Clarksville and Cumberland Furnace, Tennessee. The two companies “plan to evaluate customer response and determine the feasibility of expanding this offering to additional stores,” according to a news release from Dollar General.
“We’re excited to pilot new mobile health clinics with services provided by DocGo On-Demand to provide services including annual physicals, acute illness, urgent care needs, vaccinations, and lab testing,” said Albert Wu, MD, chief medical officer for Dollar General. “These clinics demonstrate our ability and desire to work with our customers to bring affordable health and wellness closer to home while equally establishing Dollar General as a trusted partner where customers can access health services.”
The company announced the clinics will complement DG wellbeing, its health initiative to provide additional health and wellness products to Dollar General stores. As of October 2022, DG wellbeing was available in more than 3,200 of Dollar General’s 18,818 stores, spread across 47 states.
In July 2021, Dollar General announced its plan to expand health care offerings, starting with additional medicines and nutritional and personal care products, with a goal to become a health destination. At that time, Dollar General said about 75% of the U.S. population lived within five miles of one of the stores, and it had access to rural communities “often underserved by other retailers as well as the existing health care ecosystem.”
DocGo has more than 3,500 medical workers in 28 states and the United Kingdom. The company states: “With over 3 million patient interactions, we’ve shown what the future of health care looks like,” with fast care, greater patient satisfaction, and lower costs.
In practical terms in Tennessee, that means having the mobile clinic for two days each at the three stores. The clinic will have staff available to test for infections, offer vaccinations, and manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and COPD.
“We’re thrilled to expand our existing footprint in Nashville and reach new patients by partnering with a nationally recognized company like Dollar General,” Aaron Severs, DocGo chief product officer, said in the news release. “Improving health care accessibility and providing care to patients where and when they need it most is our primary goal, and we are confident that this partnership is another step forward in the right direction.”
The move is one of the earliest 2023 developments in continuing trends of health care availability – or lack of it – in rural areas, and various retail companies hoping to expand primary care clinics in stores or pharmacies across the country.