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New diagnostic tests, administrative physicals now available at Take Care Clinics

Move advances the Well at Walgreens strategy

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. — Walgreens-owned clinic operator Take Care Clinics now is offering three new diagnostic tests and administrative physicals — a move that also advances the Well at Walgreens strategy to enhance services as a community healthcare provider and transform to a health and daily living destination.

The launch of these new services is based on input from patients, managed care organizations and healthcare providers on ways to help prevent the progression of disease and use the most appropriate point of care, the company said.

New point of care tests now available at Take Care Clinics include:

  • HbA1C test: A blood test used to monitor Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and to gauge a patient’s success in managing the disease;

  • Microalbumin test: A urine test often recommended for people with diabetes and high blood pressure to detect possible kidney damage or disease; and

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): A lab test which can help identify hidden blood in the stool which could be an indicator of colon cancer or polyps in the colon.

“By providing convenient access to common diagnostic tests in Take Care Clinics we can assist primary care providers and others in the healthcare system in early detection, diagnosing, managing and ultimately helping to prevent disease,” stated Sandy Ryan, chief nurse practitioner officer for Take Care Health Systems. “Providers often recommend these tests for patients based on history and clinical findings, and our convenient hours and locations remove barriers for those who would otherwise forego care. By making these tests more accessible to patients, our clinics can play an important role in preventing unchecked disease progression and overuse of more costly emergency rooms.”

Completing preventive care services, such as the A1C test, microalbumin and FOBT, is an important measure in the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, which provides information on the performance of America’s health plans. It’s also a key measure for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Star ratings, which allow for comparison of Medicare plans. With the addition of these services in the Take Care Clinic setting, health plan providers can work with Take Care Health Systems to help provide their membership with easy access to appropriate diagnostic services.

Administrative physicals, which may be required for numerous life events, such as adoption, insurance certification, marriage, school admission and employment verification, also have launched at Take Care Clinics. Administrative physicals include a physical exam, immunization review and the completion of the clinical sections of forms that must be filled out as part of a required physical.


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Walgreen's is taking another

Walgreen's is taking another thoughtful but modest step in trying to position the company as a front line healthcare provider.

Its earlier moves to open employer-based clinics, test market physician offices in its stores, extend the role of pharmacists and transform the look and feel of its stores are more important steps, but the company is clearly trying to be more proactive before being driven to it again by competitors.

Watching CVS blow past them with its MinuteClinic and Caremark acquisitions, with a Walmart-Humana alliance poised to become an 800 pound gorilla in healthcare reform and with even RiteAid having beat them with telemedicine links to provide integrated clinical services, the challenge should now be pretty evident to Walgreen's leaders and shareholders.

Ron Hammerle, Chairman
Health Resources, Ltd.
Tampa, Florida

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