Walgreen Makes Move To Buy Chain of Retail Clinics
Walgreen on Wednesday announced that it would acquire retail clinic developer Take Care Health Systems, which will allow the drugstore chain to accelerate installation of the clinics in its stores, the Chicago Tribune reports. Walgreen currently has 59 of its Health Corner clinics in stores and plans to open more than 400 by the end of 2008 (Japsen, Chicago Tribune, 5/17). Take Care operates 50 clinics in drugstores in the Midwest and Pittsburgh, according to a Walgreen statement (Fineman, Bloomberg/Providence Journal, 5/17).
The Take Care model is largely associated with "high-traffic" retail pharmacies, and the company has developed most of Walgreen clinics. Walgreen clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common illnesses, such as strep throat or sinus infections.
Costs for services range from $59 to $74 for people without health coverage, but insurers increasingly are providing coverage for retail clinic treatment.
Greg Moerschel, a partner with the private equity firm that is the majority shareholder in Take Care, said the acquisition "is about speed to market and getting [clinics] into the communities that need them." He added, "Walgreens will take this concept very far and it will be worthwhile for them and the consumer. This is all about getting a national footprint"(Chicago Tribune, 5/17).
Walgreen expects the acquisition to close next week (Bloomberg/Providence Journal, 5/17).