Three Village Medical clinics, in the vicinity of Walgreens
The first three are in Hiawassee, Kissimmee and St. Cloud, to be followed by two more in Orlando, plus Altamonte Springs, Davenport, Lakeland, Leesburg and Ocala.
The primary care concept—develop through a strategic partnership between Walgreens Boots Alliance and VillageMD—was first launched in Houston, Texas in November 2019, well timed for the unforeseen Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then the clinics have rolled out to Arizona, Indiana and now Florida—ranked 14th, 17th, and 11th respectively for ‘retirement friendliness’ by Fidelity last year, based on cost of living, healthcare access, and taxes. The rollout is part of a $1 billion accelerated investment effort, using equity and convertible debt, announced in January.
Jamie Vortherms, vice president of healthcare services at Walgreens, commented: “These 10 new clinics in Orlando are the first of many we hope to bring to Florida to provide high-quality care to residents in the communities where they live, shop and work.”
Chronic conditions rife in Florida
More than 13 million Floridians have at least one chronic condition, and many of them require multiple daily medications, according to an assessment from the Florida Department of Health. This makes the state ideal for the Village Medical integrated care model which gives access to services through in-person, at-home and tele-health visits.
VillageMD primary care physicians and Walgreens pharmacists together offer care for chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure, as well as everyday illnesses and injuries. Walgreens says that “patients are able to receive convenient and coordinated pharmacy services alongside cost-effective and comprehensive primary care.”
Brent Asplin, M.D., president of Village Medical said in a statement: “Our healthcare model fosters regular communication and strong relationships between our patients and providers. By bringing this model to Walgreens locations in Orlando, we’re able to provide unprecedented access to primary care services.”
Once all ten Village Medical units are up and running in Florida they will create approximately 400 jobs including 200 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) professional positions, based on Village Medical’s own estimates.
As further rollouts begin in other states, the focus will be on areas that are medically underserved, targeting patients who may not have easy access to health services. In its fiscal third quarter results announcement in July, Walgreens Boots Alliance said that creating neighborhood health destinations around a more modern pharmacy was a strategic priority.
More than 30 more Village Medical at Walgreens locations are expected by the end of calendar 2021, bringing the total up to approximately 80 co-locations by then. Outside the U.S. Walgreens’ Boots business in the U.K. has also launched the Boots Health Hub, a marketplace serving as a gateway to Boots and third party online healthcare services.
In the U.S., Walgreens Boots Alliance third quarter 2021 sales hit $28.7 billion, up 5.1% on the same period in 2020, though comparable sales increased 6.4%. Driving the growth has been the pharmacy segment at 8.4%, helped by Covid-19 vaccinations, with retail trailing at 1.7%.