Walgreens and Pearl declined to share specific financial terms. Walgreens declined to provide specific clinician partners or the number of capitated lives it plans to cover under the partnership.
Wogen said Walgreens' relationship with Pearl continues its strategy to extend its reach beyond retail. In 2021, Walgreens invested $5.2 billion to take a majority stake in VillageMD, which has more than 20,000 employees across 680 practices in 26 markets. In January, VillageMD acquired a primary, specialty and urgent care provider, Summit Health-CityMD, for $8.9 billion.
“We're not going be able to scale everything through capital investments, it's an expensive strategy,” Wogen said. “We need to have a combination of strategies that are supporting owned assets, where you may have more control, but also enabled assets. The Pearl relationship gets us to the latter.”
Walgreens will work with providers and help patients who are being discharged transition from the hospital to the home by leveraging connected care platform CareCentrix, a subsidiary of Walgreens Boots Alliance. The company will also offer prescription fulfillment, medication adherence, immunizations and care gap closure. Diagnostic testing will be offered directly to patients via home channels and retail locations. Pearl, which raised $75 million in January, will handle the majority of analytics and insights for providers.
“It allows us to enable risk and the migration to value-based care with a broader set of physicians in more communities across the country to touch more patients faster,” Wogen said.
Michael Kopko, co-founder and CEO of Pearl Health, said the two began talks last year. He said the agreement gives Pearl the chance to move into full-risk partnerships and allows it to work with a substantial prescribing partner.
“In this case, Walgreens and Pearl, because of the claims data that we have on patients [and] the prescription data we have, we know when someone has missed key prescriptions,” Kopko said. “I think what you’re going to see is actually less fragmentation in these value-based models and bigger and bigger bets on does the operating system or operating logic deliver better outcomes.”
Earlier this month, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer stepped down as head of the company and as a member of its board of directors.