Home Health News Q&A: Walgreens CMO on VillageMD closures

Q&A: Walgreens CMO on VillageMD closures

Q&A: Walgreens CMO on VillageMD closures


Final week, Walgreens introduced its tech-enabled value-based care supplier VillageMD would close clinics in Florida in a bid to extend profitability, and earlier this week confirmed to Becker’s it could shut all its Illinois clinics in April.  

Chief medical officer at Walgreens, Dr. Sashi Moodley, sat down with MobiHealthNews at ViVE24 to debate the present state of Walgreens work in healthcare and the closures of VillageMD clinics.

MobiHealthNews: Are you able to give an outline of Walgreens’ present work in healthcare?

Dr. Sashi Moodley: We positively have a number of issues occurring. Simply in the previous couple of months, if you happen to’ve adopted the headlines, we have launched a new virtual care program that’s stay in 9 states. Proper now, it is direct-to-consumer, however over time, I believe we’ll attempt to get in-network with insurance coverage and broaden the set of circumstances, and over time, I believe we additionally need to broaden the states we serve. However to date, we have had fairly good demand for the service, and it has been nice to form of simply see the tales that we get, you already know, sufferers having the ability to have a seamless expertise. 

To step again for a second, if you happen to take a look at the place sufferers go once they have a non-emergency, form of not a significant concern, 50% of them find yourself going to the pharmacy as their first cease. And proper now, we serve our sufferers with quite a lot of completely different diagnostic assessments and different remedies over-the-counter, however, you already know, for instance, if a client buys a urinary take a look at strip, for instance, and has a constructive take a look at, they then should go discover an appointment with their physician, or go to an pressing care or ER, and anybody is aware of that may typically be fairly inconvenient, take a number of weeks to get an appointment.

So, what we need to do is attempt to handle that unmet want, and so making an attempt to create a really seamless expertise for sufferers. And so, you already know, if they’ve a constructive take a look at, for instance, they’ll go on the platform, see a physician inside quarter-hour, and if warranted, obtain the antibiotic after which have that despatched to the pharmacy of their selection, and, if it is Walgreens, decide it up that very same day or get it delivered to their house. We need to form of mix that bodily and digital expertise for sufferers.

MHN: Shoppers embraced digital care throughout COVID, however that enthusiasm could also be waning, and VillageMD is closing many clinics. How is Walgreens guaranteeing it’s conserving sufferers taken with utilizing this know-how?

Dr. Moodley: So digital care is one modality out of many who now we have. I believe if you happen to step again for a second, we have got, I believe, 10 million interactions a day with customers throughout the nation, and people are by all of our completely different channels: digital, in-store, and even by our in-person care supply firms. And so, we’re making an attempt to tailor our expertise to the sufferers that we serve, as a result of each affected person is a little bit completely different, and care appears completely different. 

And so, one thing like digital care lends itself to a direct-to-consumer mannequin, extra of a doubtlessly cash-paid mannequin. And then you definitely’ve bought care supply fashions on the opposite finish of the spectrum which are significantly better positioned for value-based care fashions, and we’re doing each. 

And so, it is not an “or” it is an “and,” proper? We serve so many individuals throughout the nation who’ve a various set of wants, that we’re making an attempt to tailor our care fashions to handle what sufferers really need. And we’re making an attempt to be very consumer-centric, and that’s our DNA as a retailer. And so, that will be my form of pondering round this – it is not a this or this, it is a this and this, and, you already know, how will we interact sufferers in the best way they need to be engaged? And I believe over time, as sufferers change their preferences, we are going to adapt as nicely in order that we are able to stay related.

MHN: What kind of testing does the corporate do to make sure it is adapting to customers’ needs?

Dr. Moodley: I believe digital care is an efficient instance of the place we launched in 9 markets with a discrete set of providers to check out what was the demand: How a lot do sufferers really need to pay? Are we really offering a greater expertise than what they’re getting in the present day? And, you already know, as we get these proof factors, we’ll proceed to iterate and launch new providers. And I believe you may see us, hopefully over the subsequent few months, proceed to develop and broaden. I believe we all the time attempt to hold the patron, the affected person, on the heart, and actually perceive what the expertise is thru their lens, after which return to the drafting board and iterate as we have to, after which scale sure fashions and the place we see issues that is probably not working the best way we wish, and deprioritize these issues.

MHN: What sort of challenges has Walgreens confronted?

Dr. Moodley: As we glance by our completely different fashions, making an attempt to determine which fashions we prioritize by which markets. We have got a number of completely different options, and we’re pondering by how we are able to construct density and Facilities of Excellence actually in numerous markets. In order that’s an ongoing train.

So, I believe we simply have a number of issues occurring, and we’re making an attempt to prioritize and work out which fashions we’ll deal with, and by which geographies we’re focusing. We additionally know there’s an enormous alternative there to work with docs that we do not essentially make use of, whether or not they’re impartial docs, solo practitioners, medical teams, and even well being techniques. There’s much more we are able to do there. And so, I believe, we’re additionally going to, over time, scale a few of these fashions.

MHN: How do you remedy these issues?

Dr. Moodley: It is an iterative course of. As you talked about, the [VillageMD] closures. I believe we’re studying as we go. On the finish of the day, we need to have a scalable, sustainable medical mannequin that is delivering high-quality care and delivering decrease prices. 

And as you had earlier talked about, affected person preferences change, and so now we have to adapt. So, I believe now we have to stay nimble as we’re, and you may proceed to see our fashions evolve and, as I discussed, prioritize sure areas and deprioritize others as we be taught extra about what’s working and the place we need to deal with.

MHN: Is that what occurred with the [VillageMD] closures? Some issues that the corporate thought would hit didn’t hit?

Dr. Moodley: Once more, it is again to specializing in the place now we have density and the place we’re capable of ship on our promise of offering high-quality care. I believe there’s quite a bit we are able to do. It is such a large firm, and in so many states – in 9,000 shops – and all of the engagements. And I believe we simply need to guarantee that we’re focusing our efforts within the areas the place we are able to drive probably the most worth.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here