Walgreens, Community Health Network team up to provide comprehensive care

March 15, 2013

Walgreens' Take Care Health Systems and Community Health Network embark on new collaboration

Take Care Health Systems, a Walgreens subsidiary, and Community Health Network, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit health system, have entered into a clinical collaboration that seeks to provide better-coordinated healthcare services for patients and improve their access to more convenient and affordable care.

“By developing new and innovative coordinated care programs, Walgreens and Take Care Clinics are helping to bridge critical gaps in care by working closely with others in the medical community and furthering our mission to help patients get, stay, and live well,” said Jeffrey Kang, MD, MPH, Walgreens senior vice president of health and wellness services and solutions.

What consumers can expect

Patient services offered by the collaboration include:

• Take Care Clinics, offering evening and weekend hours,
         convenient locations, and online appointment scheduling.

• Access for Community Health Network patients to Take
       Care Clinic providers for acute, chronic, and diagnostic
        services.

• Direct intercommunications between Community Health
        Network physicians and Take Care Clinic nurse practitioners
      who share patient information and facilitate coordination
        of care.

• Information shared between the two systems about the
        services they offer to each other’s patients.

Also under the agreement, the two companies are looking into the possibility of sharing electronic medical records (EMR) through Community Health Network’s own EMR platform, Community CareConnect. This type of coordination could allow patients to schedule online appointments at Community Health Network physician offices, Take Care Clinics, MedCheck locations, and imaging sites.

Facilities on board

In Central Indiana, there are 14 Take Care Clinics and more than 200 Community Health Network sites of care and affiliates, including eight hospitals and a network of more than 2,000 credentialed physicians.

“Through this relationship, we are bringing new thinking to local healthcare delivery,” said Tim Hobbs, MD, chief physician executive at Community Health Network. “This type of collaborative approach … represents the direction that healthcare is moving.”

With all eyes on healthcare costs, coordinated care is seen by many as a logical and cost-effective next step. According to research published in the September 2010 issue of Health Affairs, a potential savings of $4.4 billion can be amassed annually if patients visit a retail clinic or urgent care center instead of a hospital emergency department.