Walgreen Broadens Its Health-Care Reach

January 19, 2009 10:17 pm Published by

Walgreen should be commended for making an effort to control health care costs while increasing access to care but the article does not discuss a critical part of the plan; who are the doctors and dentists entrusted with running this program and what is their expertise? How does Walgreen hope to attract and retain doctors and dentists in this program other than recent grads who will plan to leave for private practice after two years? What differentiates this program from prior failed attempts at running Management Service Organizations that were prevalent last decade and have since died?

Providing basic medical and dental checkups and preventive care at work can be a great time savings to employers and improve health care to employees but what mechanism was created for quality control of this care? How will attracting “frugal” customers contribute to Walgreen’s bottom line? In 23 years of premium private practice I have found patients are able to pay for premium services they value. How will the Walgreen plan create perceived value and branding to the employee-customer-patients?

Health care is overly fragmented and should be consolidated. Health care costs are also spirally out of control, but as I have published years ago, it is at least partially a result of Wall Street salaries spirally out of control.

When a large company like Walgreen successfully creates a program like the one being described it will only be a question of time before it begins to compete with health insurers, especially for dentistry and pharmaceuticals where usage is statistically predictable.

I would like to learn more details about the Complete Care and Well-Being program.

Read the Wall Street Journal article

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This post was written by Dr. Jeffrey Dorfman