Walgreens Boots Alliance and VillageMD on Thursday (Sept. 9) announced the opening of 18 Village Medical at Walgreens’ full-service primary care practices in the Phoenix area, as well an intent to open four more locations by year’s end, the companies announced in a press release. The Walgreens and VillageMD integrated care model allows patients to receive primary care and pharmacy services all at one location.
The model has expanded recently in other states, according to PYMNTS. In August, the companies announced that 10 practices would open in Orlando, Florida.
Earlier this summer, the companies announced that 29 practices would be coming to Houston, Austin and El Paso, Texas.
As part of the joint effort, the companies plan to open at least 600 Village Medical at Walgreens locations in more than 30 U.S. communities within the next four years, PYMNTS reported previously. In addition, plans call for hundreds more locations after the companies reach that goal as part of a $1 billion investment.
In an interview with PYMNTS last year, VillageMD co-founder and CEO Tim Barry said that the Walgreens and VillageMD partnership aims to fix skyrocketing healthcare costs. The key, he said, is to address the 20% of U.S. patients with chronic health conditions. Besides in-person healthcare services, VillageMD provides access to a suite of telemedicine and digital-management tools to arrive at better patient outcomes. Doctors account for a part of the comprehensive care team that also includes pharmacists, social workers and others, who work in tandem to ensure patients follow through with their treatment plans. This collaborative approach aims to thwart an integral challenge in patient care: patients who fail to follow their treatment plans or take their medicine after leaving their doctor’s office.
“The strategic partnership between Walgreens and VillageMD aims to change how healthcare is delivered in this country,” said Jamie Vortherms, Walgreens vice president of healthcare services. “By coordinating Village Medical primary care with Walgreens pharmacy services in our stores and virtually, the patient experience is now improved with more convenient, in-neighborhood access to care.”
The Arizona locations are expected to generate more than 800 local jobs, including about 500 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles, while the locations in Florida are expected to create another 400 positions.
Patients visiting any of the Village Medical at Walgreens clinics could receive care for chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer, strokes and diabetes, as well as more common illnesses and injuries, the companies said. The clinics will also offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.