The tie-in between digital healthcare, health systems and grocery store chains is getting tighter.
In March 2017, BayCare Health System, a Clearwater health system operating 15 hospitals and hundreds of other provider locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions, began rolling out its branded telehealth sites to a series of Publix Supermarket Inc. stores in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties in Florida.
BayCare is operating health screening stations at all 115 Publix pharmacies in the four-county area while concurrently Publix will operate retail pharmacies at five BayCare hospitals.
Now a second major healthcare systems is also partnering with a major regional grocer to deploy web-enabled healthcare kiosks. UPMC, UPMC, $19 billion health system with 40 hospitals and a 3.4 million-member health insurance division based in Pittsburgh, is deploying health kiosks in conjunction with Giant Eagle, a supermarket chain with more than 410 stores throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana.
UPMC is currently rolling out AnywhereCare telehealth kiosks beginning at three Giant Eagle stores in Pittsburgh, Homestead and Monroeville, Penn. The kiosks will be placed in private consultation rooms next to the pharmacy in each location, the health system says.
The cost of an AnywhereCare visit varies from no cost to $49, depending on insurance coverage. Prescriptions, if needed, are paid separately by the patient, and are sent electronically to the patient’s chosen pharmacy, UPMC says.
The telehealth kiosks are available for patients three years and older but for now limited in use for non-emergency or minor care visits ranging from sore throats to earaches, UPMC says. “We want our UPMC care to be available to our patients anywhere, including the grocery store where they might already be looking for over-the-counter remedies,” says UPMC executive director of telehealth Natasa Sokolovich.
UPMC has yet to release more detail such as how many locations it may eventually expand to in Giant Eagle stores, how much it’s spending to expand its retail telehealth programs and if will do business with other retail chains.
But in general UPMC is looking to further expand access to its telehealth program. “This (the deal with Giant Eagle) is one more way to make our care accessible to patients when and where they want it,” Sokolovich says.Favorite