CVS, Walgreens, Walmart….Dollar General health clinics?

Can Dollar Tree and Family Dollar be far behind? A possible new entrant to the onsite clinic wars may be Dollar General in piloting DocGo clinic vans in three Tennessee stores. DG Wellbeing will be providing urgent, preventative, and chronic care at three locations, two days a week each, with two in Clarksville and one in Cumberland Furnace, from 10am to 8pm based on current FAQs. DocGo vans will be located adjacent to the stores, in the parking lot. Appointments and walk-ins, Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, some commercial insurances, and cash are accepted.

Certain lab tests plus blood work are done either onsite or sent out. Medical staff on the van can write prescriptions. Some referrals (e.g. imaging) are done while other referrals are not available.

As to their strategy, you have to hand it to Dollar General. They get some good press from this. They are starting small in working through the details, outsourcing the healthcare part, and seeing if there’s sufficient demand to 1) expand and if promising 2) model the customer demographics–what we marketers call customer personas. If it doesn’t work, no Theranos-sized holes in their budgets–it’ll be GoneGone to DocGo.

Dollar General started to make moves into health about two years ago by noting the scarcity of health products in rural and underserved areas. They started to add more healthcare products (what they know about) on their shelves as part of the initial phase of the DG Wellbeing initiative and appointed a chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Wu. Currently, Wellbeing is in 3,200 stores (of 18,000+) with up to of 400 items per store. This past July, DG created a healthcare advisory panel including Dr. Patrick Carroll, chief medical officer of Vida Health; Dr. Katy Lanz, chief strategy and product officer at Personal Care Medical Associates and former chief clinical officer at Aspire Health; Dr. Von Nguyen, clinical lead of public and population health at Google; and Dr. Yolanda Hill, a board-certified physician in pediatrics and adolescent medicine. On Dollar General’s third quarter earnings call last December, CEO Jeff Owen noted the expansion of stores and the test of the DocGo vans to expand their services into rural health. Watch out Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens! Healthcare DiveForbes, Mobihealthnews

Their healthcare provider, DocGo, last week announced a partnership with Redirect Health, a platform offering directed to enterprises that provides on-demand, urgent mobile care to businesses in New Jersey and New York. DocGo SPAC’d on Nasdaq in 2021 and, unlike other SPACs, hasn’t cracked. Other than one wobbly point last year, it’s generally held its share price within a dollar or two of its initial offering range, which in this past year has to be considered good news.

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