Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Walgreens Is Taking Health Clinics To Workplaces

Milwaukee--Walgreen Co., which rolled out its retail health clinic concept at Milwaukee-area Walgreens locations last year, is taking those services into large-company work sites with a pair of acquisitions announced Monday. Once the transactions close, Walgreens will have more than 500 work-site and retail health centers in 40 states.

Comment: Since most medical insurance is paid for by employers, it makes sense that they can probably control costs more effectively with employer-provided work-site health clinics than traditional insurance plans. In other words, if employers are going to pay for medical costs for employess, why not just provide the medical services at the worksite?


At 3/18/2008 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Employers' first aid is paid for by the employer, so they represent the employers’ interest (even though it should not be that way). Employers do not want to be in the position of having their first-aid personnel testify for employees in workman's compensation cases if a patient relationship is established. Where I work, you cannot be treated for non-work related problems at the worksite. You will be sent to your private doctor if you even try. They will call an ambulance if you need one.

At 3/18/2008 2:21 PM, Blogger VH said...

Two points:
“When MinuteClinic wanted to expand into Massachusetts last year, the Massachusetts Medical Society resisted. The group listed its concerns, including the possibility of retail health clinics driving physicians out of business.” Massachusetts is a closed shop; this is rarely a good for consumers.

“Treatment at a MinuteClinic location costs an average of $30 to $110, and the health practitioners are certified to write some prescriptions.” Currently patients have to live without an essential free-market instrument-price. If you walk into an emergency clinic for care and you ask the doctor attending to you what the cost is for a certain procedure, they almost always never know. Even if they do have a ballpark idea of cost, I doubt if it reflects the actual cost. Private operations like MinuteClinic inject some price sensitivity to a industry that is devoid of it.


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