Sutter Opens Retail Clinic as Other Firm Shutters Operation
Sutter Health on Thursday opened its first walk-in medical clinic in California at a Rite Aid drugstore in Natomas, the Sacramento Bee reports. Sutter says that it is the state's first major medical provider to open a retail walk-in clinic.
Sutter in the next two months plans to open Sutter Express Care clinics in five more Rite Aid stores in the Sacramento region.
The clinics will be operated seven days a week by nurse practitioners, who can write prescriptions and practice without a doctor present in California and 22 other states.
The clinics will treat minor problems and administer:
- Sports and pre-employment physicals;
- Flu shots;
- Blood pressure tests; and
- Hearing tests.
As Sutter begins its move into retail clinics, San Ramon-based Wellness Express on Nov. 17 closed its four clinics in Longs Drugs locations in Davis and the Bay Area, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal reports. Wellness Express opened its first clinic in April 2005.
Paul Kaufmann, founder and CEO of the company, said that it needed $5 million to $15 million to sustain operations until it achieved profitability. He said that private equity and venture capital firms had declined to provide additional funding.
The clinics treated more than 10,000 patients. Kaufmann said repeat patients accounted for about 44% of clinic visitors.
Longs Drugs spokesperson Farra Levin said that the company is negotiating with other companies to take over the clinic locations and that Longs would like to add additional clinics to its stores.
Longs declined to provide additional funding for Wellness Express (Robertson, Silicon Valley/ San Jose Business Journal, 12/11).