Retail Medicine Syncs with High-Deductible Health Plans

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , February 25, 2014

The rise of high-deductible health plans means more consumers will have healthcare coverage that mainly provides protection against catastrophic injury or illness. As these plans become more common, pharmacy chains and big box retailers are taking a greater interest in expanding their healthcare provider capacities.

Some analysts believe that the greatest fundamental changes to traditional healthcare delivery will come from without, not from within.

The rise of high-deductible health plans means more consumers will be on the hook for much of their medical costs, with their coverage mainly providing protection against catastrophic injury or illness. As these high-deductible plans become more common, traditional retailers such as CVS Caremark, are taking a greater interest in expanding their healthcare provider capacities.


See Also: Behind Retailers' Healthcare Strategies, Operational Know-How


In Part 1 of an interview, analysts Vaughn Kauffman, Health Industries Principal at PwC and Ceci Connolly, the Managing Director of PwC's Health Research Institute, discussed their views on what we might see in the coming months and years as retail businesses carve out a larger role for themselves in healthcare delivery. The following is an edited transcript.

HLM: Why do you believe that retail medicine is a potential game changer for care delivery?

Kauffman: Consumers will continue to look for cost of care, convenience and price as they bear more of the costs. Whether it be the pharmacist or other retail channels, we think that because of the evolving healthcare economies, there are roles that these retailers and pharmacy organizations will play in delivering care. We also think about the scope of healthcare beyond the traditional patient setting and around the whole spectrum of health and healthcare and fitness and how that plays into the equation.

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