Clinics will be co-branded with VillageMD
Walgreens partnered with VillageMD three years ago with a pilot project of five practices in the Houston area, and following that, announced a nationwide rollout in 2020. This strategy is similar to what CVS and Walmart are doing as the major chains maneuver to try to capture more health care dollars by transforming into health care destinations.
Last year, Walgreens said it planned to open 600 Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices in 30 domestic markets by 2025, and 1,000 by 2027. The company pledged more than $5 billion to make that happen.
The VillageMD practices offer care for chronic conditions, preventive care, and treatment of illnesses. The in-store clinics will accept most insurance plans and also offer an out-of-pocket option for those with no coverage. According to Walgreens, more than half of the clinics will be in underserved areas. VillageMD uses physician-led care teams and utilizes coordinated care using technology to manage outcomes.
Walgreens isn’t alone in using the partnership model. Walmart partnered with Oak Street Health to open clinics in its stores in the Dallas area. CVS is also pushing into primary care, but it is not using the partnership model. Instead, it is revamping its stores to include on-site doctors. This is in addition to its existing MinuteClinics that are staffed by nurse practitioners.