500,000 PATIENTS TREATED AT TAKE CARE HEALTH CLINICS
Convenient Care Clinic Manager Hits Major Milestone as Clinics Grow in Popularity and Provide Greater Access to High-Quality, Affordable and Convenient Health Care
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. June 3, 2008 Take Care Health Systems, one of the largest managers of convenient care clinics and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens (NYSE, NASDAQ: WAG), recently reached a major milestone with 500,000 patients treated at Take Care Health Clinics since opening in November 2005. The company currently manages 172 convenient care clinics in 18 markets throughout 14 states and plans to have more than 400 clinics open by the end of 2008.
Anita Davis, a Chicago-area resident with four children, has utilized the Take Care Health Clinic near her home multiple times for her family.
"My husband and I have visited the clinic because it is so convenient and we don't need an appointment," said Davis, a self-proclaimed "busy mom." "You can tell that the Take Care Nurse Practitioners we've seen truly care about the well-being of my family. They even make a follow-up call to see how we are doing. We've been very happy with the care and definitely see these clinics as filling a need in the community."
"We are thrilled that Take Care Health Clinics have provided high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to half a million patients nationwide, including Anita Davis in Chicago," said Peter Miller, Take Care Health Systems' President and CEO. "The fact that Take Care Health Providers have treated this many patients since the first clinic opened only two and a half years ago shows that we are quickly emerging as an important part of the solution to the current health care crisis."
Take Care Health Clinics are staffed by board-certified family nurse practitioners and physician assistants who treat patients 18 months and older for common illnesses such as strep throat, ear and sinus infections, pink eye and poison ivy, and are licensed to write prescriptions that can be filled at the patient's pharmacy of choice. Take Care Health Providers also provide sports and camp physicals and offer vaccinations for flu, hepatitis B, meningitis, shingles and tetanus.
Data captured from Take Care Health Clinics' 500,000 patient visits illustrate the access and affordability challenges faced by traditional health care and the tremendous opportunity for clinics with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to address those challenges. According to Take Care Health Clinic information:
- Had it not been for a Take Care Health Clinic, more than 40 percent of patients would have gone to the ER, Urgent Care or not sought treatment for their condition.
- Roughly 30 percent of patients that visit Take Care Health Clinics do not have a health care home (a primary care provider they see routinely for ongoing health care needs).
- In addition to recommending that patients have a health care home and referring them to one if necessary, Take Care Health Providers also refer up to 20 percent of patients to other sites of service, mainly primary care providers but also specialists in the area, serving as an entry point into the health care system.
- Approximately 20 percent of patients either are uninsured or pay cash for these services (suggesting they may be uninsured or underinsured).
Upper respiratory problems, sore throats, sinus infections, skin conditions and ear aches, as well as flu shots and administrative physicals, are the conditions/services that Take Care Health Providers most frequently treat or administer.
Miller said, "We are delivering wholeheartedly on the promise of the clinics. Our vision was to create a unique, patient-centric access point that complements traditional health care and integrates with the local medical community, providing a distinct service to insured and uninsured Americans. Our efforts are helping to lower health care costs by providing a service that better aligns with patients' needs. As a result of Take Care Health Providers, fewer patients are using the emergency room as a default option, more uninsured Americans have access to health care and patients who would have delayed or bypassed care are getting the necessary attention. As a part of Walgreens, Take Care Health Systems is leveraging more resources to drive an industry-leading commitment to convenient care clinics and truly impact the health care marketplace."
Take Care Health Systems is part of Walgreens new Health and Wellness division, and includes Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of convenient care clinics located at Walgreens drugstores nationwide, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services and a result of the newly acquired I-trax/CHD Meridian Health care and Whole Health Management. Together, Walgreens Health and Wellness division has nearly 600 retail and worksite health and wellness centers within the division with plans for growth and expansion this year.
Many national health plans cover visits to a Take Care Health Clinic such as Aetna, CIGNA, Coventry, Great West, Humana, MultiPlan, UnitedHealth care and WellPoint, along with many regional plans, Medicare and Medicaid. In Take Care Health's most established markets, 85 percent of insured individuals are covered at a Take Care Health Clinic. If insured by a plan accepted at the clinic, patients pay their regular co-pay. For the uninsured or cash payers, prices average $59-$74.
Take Care Health Clinics use nationally recognized, evidence-based clinical guidelines for treatment and electronic medical record technology that allows patients to take visit records to their other providers, promoting continuity of care. Take Care Health Providers follow quality and safety standards as outlined by the Convenient Care Association, the industry's trade association, and are aligned with guidelines for convenient care clinics set by the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Association.
Take Care Health Systems currently manages clinics in Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Miami, Milwaukee, Nashville, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Pittsburgh, Rockford, Ill., St. Louis, Tampa, Fla., Tucson, Ariz. and West Palm Beach, Fla.
About Take Care Health SystemsSM
Take Care Health Systems (www.takecarehealth.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walgreens and part of the Health and Wellness division, includes Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of convenient care clinics located at Walgreens drugstores nationwide, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services. The company combines best practices in health care and the expertise and personal care of providers to deliver access to high-quality, affordable and convenient health care to all individuals. The Take Care Consumer Solutions group currently manages 172 Take Care Health Clinics in 18 cities throughout 14 states, with plans to have more than 400 clinics in operation by the end of 2008. Patient care at Take Care Health Clinics is provided by Take Care Health Services, a network of independently owned professional corporations. Take Care Employer Solutions manages primary care, health and wellness and occupational health centers at more than 370 employer campuses, with over 400 projected by the end of 2008.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2007 sales of $53.8 billion. The company operates 6,204 drugstores in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most convenient access to consumer goods and cost-effective health care services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager), Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health Systems, which is comprised of: Take Care Consumer Solutions, managers of 172 convenient care clinics at Walgreens drugstores, and Take Care Employer Solutions, managers of worksite-based health and wellness services at more than 370 employer campuses. Through these growing services and its drugstores, Walgreens plans to keep people healthier and more productive through 10,000 points of care by 2012.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. The following factors could cause results to differ materially from management expectations as projected in such forward-looking statements: seasonal variations, competition, risks of new business areas, the availability and cost of real estate and construction, and changes in federal or state legislation or regulations. Investors are referred to the "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" in the Company's most recent Form 10-K, which Note is incorporated into this news release by reference.
for Take Care Health Systems