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“Retailization” is a healthcare buzzword that refers to consumers’ increasing level of comfort accessing care outside of traditional institutions. One example that reflects this mindset: a recent study revealed that 33 percent of consumers would trust Google or Amazon to deliver their healthcare. This shift coincides with a shortage of primary care providers in many areas of the U.S. At the end of 2015, approximately 65 million people lived in a designated primary care “shortage area.”

In response, consumers are seeking care from ACOs, nurse practitioners and retail pharmacies with increasing frequency. Research from PwC revealed that in 2015, 66 to 87 percent of U.S. consumers felt comfortable seeking care from a nurse practitioner or physician assistant instead of a primary care provider. So why are so many consumers open to receiving care in retail clinics? Top reasons include the convenient hours and locations, lower costs and walk-in services.

Meanwhile, pharmacies are consolidating, which improves continuity across the care continuum. Because care is continuous, it’s more reliable and relevant for consumers across all ages, health conditions and locations. From receiving childhood vaccinations to fulfilling an employer’s biometric screening requirement, consumers have access to care that meets their needs throughout their lives.

For employers, the retailization of healthcare provides a convenient access point for their employees and dependents to receive care. BioIQ has leveraged this trend by onboarding a national network of participating retail pharmacies into its service delivery network. These partnerships mean that 60 percent of the U.S. population is within five miles of a participating retail clinic. More than 8,000 pharmacies across the U.S. rely on BioIQ to simplify the biometric screening process and manage the resulting data.

Pharmacies use the BioIQ tablet app to simplify the screening process for consumers. On the back end, the BioIQ technology platform gives them real-time access to lab results and brokers a secure exchange of electronic health records among authorized stakeholders in the population health ecosystem.  

The retailization of healthcare has also created an opportunity to address the rising cost of prescription drugs, which accounted for 10 percent of outpatient spending in the U.S. in 2014. The U.S. spends $200 billion each year – about 8 percent of the nation’s healthcare tab – on medical care stemming from improper or unnecessary use of prescription drugs. With retail pharmacies as viable point-of-care locations, drug costs and usage can be addressed through pharmacy management.

Tune into this year’s Top Wellness and Population Health Trends webinar to learn about these and other trends that will disrupt population health in 2016 – and beyond.


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