MDs the Right Medicine for Reade’s Clinic Biz
Most in-store health clinics in the U.S. are
staffed by nurse practitioners. Duane Reade in New York has taken another tact and partnered with companies to offer in-store clinics manned by doctors.
"I strongly believe that having our
clinics staffed with physicians — not physician assistants or nurse practitioners
like they use in other drugstores — is a big reason for our success," Adam
Henick, senior vice president for ambulatory care at Continuum Health Partners,
Continuum, the parent company of Beth
Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan,
has partnered with Duane Reade to offer patients at clinics the ability to
go to its facilities for follow-up care. Actual care at the in-store clinics
is handled by physicians employed by the Duane Reade Walk-In Medical Group
and Consumer Health Services.
The chain currently
has two clinics operating with plans to add another 20 by year’s end. The
reason for expansion is because both Duane Reade and Continuum have seen
“We are absolutely seeing a flow of new patients,” said Mr Henick.
drugstore chain is looking to open a new clinic at its store at 135th St.
and St. Nicholas Ave. in Harlem. It is the first clinic to open in a lower
Mr. Henick said, “We are working with Medicaid managed care
companies to come up with reasonable payments.”
The clinic should benefit
insurers and get their support, said Mr. Henick, because it “will drive
people who don’t need to be in the ER out of the ER.”
Is there a competitive advantage for retailers using doctors instead of nurse
practitioners to operate in-store clinics? Does Duane Reade operating stores
in densely populated New York have more of an opportunity to succeed with
in-store clinics than those in more suburban locations? Will the chain be
successful with the concept as it moves into lower-income areas?