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UnitedHealthcare Member Medicare Service Centers coming to select Walgreens stores

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Centers in five metropolitan areas will offer wellness services and Medicare plan resources after they open in January 2020

Walgreens is partnering with UnitedHealthcare to bring Member Medicare Services Centers to 14 of their stores in five metropolitan areas beginning in January 2020, according to a news release.

The centers are part of a multiyear deal between the insurer and pharmacy, and will be found in Walgreens stores in Las Vegas, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; and Memphis, Tenn.  They will enable Walgreens customers to learn more about Medicare, meet with service advocates to discuss their UnitedHealthcare plan benefits, and enroll in plans, the release says.

“We are expanding access to UnitedHealthcare Medicare resources to better serve our members, providing them with all the valuable benefits they have come to expect from their UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage plans plus delivering the customer service and information they desire locally within Walgreens,” says Mike Anderson, CEO of Medicare Part D business at UnitedHealthcare.

Members of the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage can also make appointments for in-store annual wellness visits at the centers through the insurer’s HouseCalls program, the release says.

“Walgreens collaboration with UnitedHealthcare helps people navigate their healthcare options and provides convenient access to affordable care,” says Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare at Walgreens. “Through strategic partnerships like this, Walgreens store locations can offer comprehensive services tailored to the specific needs of the communities we serve that are conveniently accessible alongside our pharmacy services.”

The partnership is another example of pharmacy chain attempting to bring some of the functions of primary care physicians into their purview through partnerships with established healthcare companies.

Previously, Walgreens announced a partnership with VillageMD to open clinics at five of their stores in the Houston, Texas, area which focused on using physician providers in addition to their 400 stores which already offer some form of healthcare clinic for patients.

Pharmacy giant CVS has also announced its plans to open 1,500 “HealthHUB” locations across the country through 2022 in addition to their more than 1,000 MinuteClinics which are already in operation.

While MinuteClinics are staffed with non-physician providers to provide acute care for minor illnesses and injuries, the HealthHUBs will feature a “care concierge team” working with patients on acute care, nutrition counseling, and chronic disease management for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

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