Take Care Clinics Expand Scope of Health Care Services to Include Chronic Condition Management and Additional Preventive Health

  Take Care Clinics Expand Scope of Health Care Services to Include Chronic
  Condition Management and Additional Preventive Health Offerings

 Walgreens subsidiary Take Care Health now offers most comprehensive service
                      offering in retail clinic industry

Business Wire

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- April 04, 2013

Access to health care services is an ongoing challenge to the U.S. health care
system. With a physician shortage, aging population, a growing prevalence of
chronic diseases and up to 30 million people projected to gain insurance
coverage in 2014 through the Affordable Care Act, the issue will become even
more critical – and may further impact both patients and the health care
system at large.

To help meet the need for greater access to affordable health services and
bridge gaps in patient care, while also improving care coordination, Walgreens
(NYSE:WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) today announced its Take Care Clinics are expanding
the scope of health care services offered. The new services, now available at
the more than 330 Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens (excludes
clinics in Missouri), include assessment, treatment and management for chronic
conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma and
others, as well as additional preventive health services.

“With this service expansion, Take Care Clinics now provide the most
comprehensive service offering within the retail clinic industry, and can play
an even more valuable role in helping patients get, stay and live well,” said
Dr. Jeffrey Kang, senior vice president of health and wellness services and
solutions, Walgreens. “Through greater access to services and a broader focus
on disease prevention and chronic condition management, our clinics can
connect and work with physicians and other providers to better help support
the increasing demands on our health care system today.”

Service Expansion

Under the new service expansion,in addition to chronic condition management,
Take Care Clinic providers can evaluate, recommend and order preventive health
services, such as screenings or lab tests, based on a patient’s age, gender
and family history.

Retail clinics have continued to gain greater consumer acceptance, popularity
and recognition for delivering quality care. A recent Rand Corporation study
showed the use of walk-in retail clinics is on the rise – increasing 10-fold
over the past two years.^1 Studies have also found that retail clinics provide
care for routine illnesses at a lower cost and similar quality as physician
offices, urgent care centers or emergency rooms.^2

Retail clinic industry estimates show that more than one in three patients do
not have a regular physician.^3 Walgreens and Take Care Health strongly
encourage all patients to have a designated primary care physician and medical
home for ongoing medical needs and routine exams, and under this new service
expansion will continue to work collaboratively with providers to support and
complement a patient’s physician care plan.

“The existing gaps in patient care and demands on an already overburdened
health care system are all projected to worsen with an influx of new patients
under health care reform,” said Heather Helle, divisional vice president,
consumer solutions group, Walgreens. “Walgreens is stepping up to be part of
the solution. As innovative care delivery models emerge, we are uniquely
positioned to play an integral role in addressing the needs of patients,
payers, and providers and to help shape the future of health care delivery in
the U.S.”

Take Care Clinics are open seven days a week, with extended evening and
weekend hours, and offer walk-in availability as well as same-day online
appointment scheduling. Take Care Clinics accept most major insurance plans
including Medicare and Medicaid, and offer affordable, transparent pricing for
those without insurance coverage. Take Care’s board-certified nurse
practitioners and physician assistants deliver patient-centric care, driving
patient satisfaction rates that are consistently greater than 90 percent. Take
Care providers use nationally accepted, evidence-based clinical guidelines to
ensure quality care delivery.

“Our goal is to coordinate with physicians in order to help patients manage
their chronic conditions in alignment with their physician’s treatment plan,”
said Alan E. London, chief medical officer, Take Care Clinics. “Walgreens and
Take Care Health also continue to develop clinical affiliations with leading
health systems to coordinate patient care and to help meet the triple aim of
improving health outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing health care
costs.”

Clinical Affiliations Further Walgreens Efforts to Coordinate and Improve
Patient Care

Clinical affiliations are aimed at increasing opportunities for clinical
coordination and improving patient access to health care services available at
Take Care Clinics. Through these programs, professionals from the health
systems share information on Take Care Clinics and other health care options
when their locations are closed or unable to schedule an appointment within a
patient’s desired timeframe.

“In a post-ACA environment, managing the health of broad populations is going
to increasingly require coordination among partners across the spectrum of
care,” said David B. Nash, founding dean, Jefferson School of Population
Health in Philadelphia. “I have long been an advocate of the retail clinic
model. Take Care Health’s expansion of services and ongoing formation of
clinical affiliations with leading health systems represents the direction
health care is trending and the type of innovation that will be the key to
improving outcomes and increasing access.”

“One of our key goals is to improve access and care for patients,” said Tim
Hobbs, M.D., chief physician executive at Community Health Network in
Indianapolis. “Through our relationship with Walgreens, we are bringing new
thinking to local health care delivery and helping to ensure that patients are
receiving the best care at the best location. We look forward to enhancing our
relationship to find other unique ways to improve the patient experience.”

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion,
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for
health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million
customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and
services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services
and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services
includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along
with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower
costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health
systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates
8,077 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and
most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and
in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the
country.

^1 RAND Corporation, “Trends in Retail Clinic Use Among the Commercially
Insured,” November 2011- http://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/11/22.html

^2 RAND Corporation, “Comparing Costs and Quality of Care at Retail Clinics
with That of Other Medical Settings for 3 Common Illnesses,” Annals of
Internal Medicine, Sept. 1, 2009,
http://www.rand.org/pubs/external_publications/EP20090915.html

^3 Convenient Care Association:
http://www.ccaclinics.org/images/stories/downloads/factsheets/cca_facsheet_increasing_access.pdf

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Contact:

Walgreens
Jim Cohn, 847-315-2950
http://news.walgreens.com
@WalgreensNews
facebook.com/Walgreens
 
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