Walgreens’ clinics to handle chronic illnesses
After several years of operating in-store clinics to handle basic medical issues and deliver flu shots, Walgreens is ratcheting up its medical services and now plans to deal with chronic conditions as well, such as diabetes and heart disease.
According to the company, this will provide greater access to affordable health services and close gaps in patient care, while helping to treat, diagnose and monitor patients who have chronic illnesses. Though Walgreens still encourages patients to consult a primary care physician for ongoing medical needs, the clinics hope to provide better synchronization of care. They offer walk-in services and are open seven days a week, with longer weekend hours than may be found at a doctor's office.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, care coordination has become an important issue in managing chronic conditions. Services need to be aligned – from diagnosis to treatment and long-term management – and Walgreens says it hopes to increase access to these services through its clinics.