IBJNews

Community taps Walgreens for health reform help

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

In the era of health care reform, hospitals will face two new challenges: They will need to run higher-volume, lower-margin businesses, and they’ll be on the hook financially for what patients do even when they’re not receiving health care.

Community Health Network’s new partnership with Walgreens’ Take Care Clinics is designed to help address both issues.

The Indianapolis-based hospital system announced last week that it will form a clinical collaboration with Illinois-based Walgreens--directing patients, records and advice back and forth among Walgreens’ 14 Take Care clinics in the Indianapolis area and Community’s vast network.

Community has relationships with more than 2,000 central Indiana physicians who see patients at roughly 200 sites in the area. It even has five MedCheck clinics, which provide immediate care similar to the Take Care Clinics in Walgreens stores.

But it still made sense for Community to partner with Walgreens because many patients are far more likely to step foot in a drugstore than they are a doctor’s office—and some can be served more effectively in retail clinics, said Kyle Fisher, Community’s chief strategic development officer.

He cited one study that showed 60 percent of patients who visit a retail clinic do not have a primary care physician.

Also, a 2012 study by the Rand Corp. showed that visits to retail clinics quadrupled from 2007 to 2009, reaching nearly 6 million. In response, more hospitals around the country are forming partnerships with retail clinics.

“Health care delivery oftentimes is very fragmented. Patients choose to use different entry points to the health care system,” Fisher said. “This isn’t a decision to undo any of the fantastic work we’ve done through MedCheck and through our primary care practices or even through our employer clinics. This is really complementary as opposed to undoing a strategy that we’ve already had.”

Looked at another way, Community has some patients who come into its system via its emergency rooms at its hospitals, even though they could be served by a retail clinic. The cost of an ER visit easily can be 10 times higher than a retail clinic visit.

Under some provisions of the 2010 Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, hospitals will be asked to manage the health of a specific population of patients, and to do it for less money than the previous year. So avoiding needless ER use will be in Community’s interest.

“We’re committed to take care of any patient, no matter how they enter the system,” Fisher said. “But as we look at health care reform and population-health management, that’s one of the tasks for us, as an integrated system--to better educate our patients on how to use the system.”

Fisher said Community’s physicians will be working with the nurse practitioners at Walgreens’ Take Care Clinics to develop protocols for how to handle patients in myriad situations.

“Our physicians want to be engaged in designing how that care takes place,” he said.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • effective date?
    any idea when the actual implementation date will be, all phases complete - I believe this is wonderful news and will be a wonderful asset to patients as well as both business.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

ADVERTISEMENT