CVS and Costco are Offering much more than flu shots.
As retail chains expand the health services they provide to customers, traditional health systems are seeing them less as competition and as the model that today’s patients expect in their healthcare.
“The problem is not with retail providers,” said Peter Knox, executive vice president and chief education and innovation officer at Baylin Health, a Wisconsin-based integrated health system. “The problem we are trying to solve is with the changing expectations, needs and needs of consumers.”
Belin Health, he continues, begins by identifying what patients want or simply living in those communities, whether it is easier for gyms or behavioral health services or health screenings.
“We need to understand the needs of that population and then we can pull the system together,” Knox said. “We built our fitness centers in some of our insurance products so that some people who sign up for our insurance get reimbursed if they use those fitness centers.”
Indeed, in this inter-era of taxis, take-out and other services available with a couple taps on smart phones, expectations for convenience and price – with the same level of quality – have climbed ever higher.
“People are looking for convenient care. There is tremendous opportunity,” said Mark Sparta, executive vice president and chief population health officer of Hackensack University Health Network in New Jersey.
Hackensack, he continued, pursued that opportunity with participation in telemedicine, fitness centers and urgent care clinics, reducing the cost of the health system while expanding its reach and appeal.
“The clinic setting is a much lower cost of care than our ED setting,” Sparta cited hospitals’ emergency departments. Even at the fitness center, “people will come in and receive a health checkup. They will be seen by a nurse, a trainer, functional movements.”
As Knox said: “What we need to do is think about the problems that we are facing and we will work with individuals and communities and employers and schools to solve some of our problems in a variety of ways. How do relationships work. “