November 2015: Retail Clinic Partnerships

Largely under the radar, we’ve seen some changes in the retail clinic world.  CVS Health is taking over Target Pharmacies, and with that, Target Clinic will become MinuteClinic.  

Walgreens now has two models: its traditional model where the company runs its own clinics, and a new model where it is now leasing clinic space to hospital systems and medical groups.  Add to that the recent announcement that Walgreens is attempting to acquire Rite Aid. Rite Aid has its own retail clinic chain, RediClinic, which has been opening new clinics at a rapid pace.  

The Clinic at Walmart was leasing space to health systems, but that has given way to a new concept: The Walmart Care Clinic. Operations of that clinic was outsourced to worksite clinic vendor QuadMed.  But Walmart has said goodbye to QuadMed in favor of running those clinic themselves.

Are you confused yet?  What complicates this further is that there is renewed interest in retail clinic partnerships on the part of health systems and large medical groups.  But the track record for success by hospital systems and medical groups is not very good when it comes to running clinics inside retail stores.

In this article, we will provide a description of what partnership options the major retailers are offering. We will also address the track record of health systems operating retail clinics and why those partnerships have such a high rate of failure. And we’ll look at why there is still risk, and why things may be different this time around for some health systems.