Health Plan Offers Members Access to Walgreens
Clinics; Geriatric Society Offers Tips on Use
AGS updates tip sheet on what senior citizens and
caregivers need to know about using retail clinics; Wellcare makes deal
for Medicare health plan members
Tucker Sutherland, editor
May 23, 2013 - Health care services by retail
clinics can be a safe option for older adults for occasional, minor
health problems, but should not take the place of an individual’s
primary care provider, according to a newly
tip sheet by the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) and
Healthinaging.org. A sign of the growing popularity of these clinics
an announcement this week by WellCare Health Plans that it will offer
its Medicare Advantage members access to the more than 370 Take Care
Clinics located at select Walgreens.
There are now more than 1,400 retail clinics
nationwide in pharmacies, supermarkets, and “big box” stores. Between
2006 and 2009, the number of older people using these clinics more than
doubled from 7.5 percent to 15 percent.
To help seniorss and caregivers understand what
role retail clinics can play in their health care, the AGS and
offer the following tips and information.
Rely on your primary care provider for most of your
Retail clinics can’t—and shouldn’t—take the place of an older adult’s
primary care provider or medical specialists. Older adults tend to have
more health problems, and more complex healthcare needs, than younger
Use retail clinics for
occasional, simple health care needs.
The most common health issues retail clinics treat include:
● Colds and coughs
● Flu symptoms
● Sinus and ear
● Strep throat
● Minor burns and sunburns
If you visit a retail clinic, be sure to:
● Bring a complete list of the all medications
you’re taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and
supplements. Ask the clinic staff to check the list to make sure these
drugs and supplements won’t interact with any new medications they may
● Let the clinic staff know if you have had any
allergic reactions to any medications you’ve taken, or have had any
other problems with medications.
● Give the clinic staff your primary care
provider’s name and phone number.
● Request a report from the clinic— before you
leave—that includes your diagnosis and follow-up instructions. Share
that report with your geriatrician or primary care provider as soon as
What about payments?
Most retail clinics accept private health insurance, Medicare, and
Medicaid. They can be a less expensive option for simple treatments such
For more tips and information from the experts in
older adult health and wellness, visit
WellCare use of Walgreen’s Take Care Clinics
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) entered
into an agreement with Take Care Health Systems, a subsidiary of
Walgreens (NYSE, Nasdaq: WAG), to offer its Medicare Advantage members
access to the Take Care Clinics located at select Walgreens stores in 19
states and Washington, D.C.
WellCare says it serves more than 256,000 Medicare
Advantage members in 14 states.
Take Care Clinics are staffed by board-certified
nurse practitioners and physician assistants to treat patients 18 months
of age or older.
Services include treatment of common illnesses;
assessment, treatment and management of chronic conditions such as
diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol; a wide range of
immunizations; preventive health services; and administrative and camp
Take Care Clinics also offer Welcome to Medicare
Preventive Visits and Medicare Yearly Wellness Visits. The visits are
wellness services for Medicare beneficiaries that include screenings for
a number of common conditions, as well as education and counseling to
encourage wellness and prevent disease.
“Take Care Clinics provide a high-quality,
cost-effective and convenient option for health care services,” said
Heather Helle, Divisional Vice President, Consumer Solutions Group at
“Open seven days a week, with extended evening and
weekend hours, we offer walk-in availability and same-day appointment
scheduling, giving members convenient access to health care services.”
Take Care Clinics are located in Arizona, Colorado,
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
WellCare Medicare Advantage members can visit
www.takecarehealth.com or call 1-866-Take-Care (1-866-825-3227) to find
the nearest Take Care Clinic location, schedule an appointment, learn
about wait times and find a complete list of service costs.
About WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
WellCare Health Plans, Inc. provides managed care
services targeted to government-sponsored health care programs, focusing
on Medicaid and Medicare. Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., WellCare offers
a variety of health plans for families, children, and the aged, blind,
and disabled, as well as prescription drug plans. The company serves
approximately 2.7 million members nationwide as of March 31, 2013. For
more information visit the company's website at www.wellcare.com.
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