Healthcare Business News
Ron Weinert, Walgreen vice president for accountable care services

Walgreen to provide services for Arizona Priority Care

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: June 18, 2014 - 12:15 pm ET

Walgreen Co. has entered into a collaborative agreement to provide expanded services for Arizona Priority Care, the Phoenix-area affiliate of Marina del Rey, Calif.-based Heritage Provider Network.

The retail pharmacy chain, which recently entered into a pact to work on “ innovative models of care” with Livonia, Mich.-based CHE Trinity Health, will be providing population health services such as medication management, health-assessment, health testing and immunizations for 19,000 Arizona Priority Care Medicare Advantage and accountable care organization patients.

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Ron Weinert, Walgreen vice president for accountable care services, told Modern Healthcare the collaboration between his company and Arizona Priority Care, or AzPC, goes beyond other health system-retail clinic operator agreements.

“What's different is the service we are providing is very targeted, coordinated and connected,” Weinert said, explaining that Walgreen pharmacists and retail clinic staff will be doing outreach to bring patients into stores and clinics for needed care.

“It's based on gaps in care,” he said.

The program is set to begin July 23, and Weinert said AzPC ACO and Medicare Advantage members can visit any of the Walgreen Healthcare Clinics in the Phoenix area, but the “intensified services” will be focused at five hub stores where pharmacists dedicated to the program will be located.

Goals of the program include avoiding preventable hospitalizations and raising patient satisfaction scores for the Heritage network.

“We see this as a model for how affordable healthcare could be more effectively delivered in the U.S., and we are proud to be piloting this type of innovative effort with Walgreens,” Dr. Richard Merkin, Heritage Provider Network president and CEO, said in a news release.

When asked if Walgreen would be paid in a fee-for-service or some type of global, capitated arrangement, the company released a statement saying that “Walgreens is being compensated for providing certain population health management services for targeted patients,” but it could not provide additional detail because of competitive concerns.

Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Ill., operates more than 8,200 drugstores and 400 retail clinics.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect number for Walgreen's retail clinics.

Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks

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