In the changing healthcare landscape, retailers including CVS Health, Walgreens, Walmart, and Kroger (who owns The Little Clinic) are capitalizing on the opportunity to change how consumers receive a wide variety of healthcare services—leading to unique industry partnerships in their quest to establish themselves as healthcare hubs in their local communities.
“The real potential here is for changing how healthcare is delivered in primary care settings," Walid Gellad, a doctor and professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh, told NPR. The shortage of U.S. primary care doctors—estimated to reach nearly 50,000 by 2030—will likely also fuel retail's growth.
By practicing at the top of their licenses and offering more patient care services, pharmacists can establish themselves as a healthcare provider in the minds of patients. That’s why more pharmacies are offering expanded services like immunizations, diabetes management, and even rapid diagnostic testing and wellness screenings.
Cardinal Health's Jim Scott, senior vice president of national markets, who works with retailers, added that these businesses can take advantage of their convenient locations to offer services aligned with trends in healthier living and an increased focus on health and wellness.
“Retail care is growing because it's bringing care to where patients live and work," Scott said. "Retailers have the unique capability to be one-stop shops by treating a condition and then filling a patient's prescription in the same visit."