Northwell Health inks deal with Walgreens to provide telehealth, primary care in N.Y. retail stores

Northwell Health and Walgreens inked a five-year partnership to expand digital health services for consumers in New York state.

The two organizations are also exploring a retail health clinic collaboration at select Walgreens store locations throughout the tri-state area, which would create additional access to primary care particularly in underserved communities, the companies said in a press release Thursday.

Northwell telehealth providers are now accessible on the Walgreens Find Care platform across the state of New York, expanding access to virtual emergency care services from board-certified emergency medicine physicians in the comfort of their homes. Pediatric specialists are also available, the organizations said.

Walgreens is being offered as an in-network pharmacy provider for Northwell's 76,000 employees. Since Sept. 1, Northwell Health's employees can fill their non-specialty prescriptions at a Walgreens pharmacy. The health system is New York state’s largest healthcare provider with 23 hospitals and largest private employer.

“Northwell Health and Walgreens worked together during the peak of the pandemic to offer COVID-19 vaccines to vulnerable community members,” said Debbie Salas-Lopez, M.D., Northwell Health senior vice president of community and population health, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to build on our relationship.”

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The organizations said the strategic affiliation will help improve the health of populations and advance health equity throughout the state.

Walgreens and Northwell Health aim to develop innovative healthcare delivery models, with offerings and services that better the health of populations and reduce costs of healthcare by advancing the delivery of retail health services in relation to access, quality, equity, satisfaction and efficiency of care, executives said.

“We are very excited to partner with Walgreens to improve health, improve care and reduce costs through collaborative and innovative opportunities,” said Mark Solazzo, Northwell Health president of strategic initiatives and chief operating officer, in a statement. “This affiliation agreement strengthens our resolve and mutual commitment towards community health equity.”

These initiatives, including expanding digital offerings and offering retail and specialty pharmacy services, are designed to generate operational synergies and efficiencies, the two companies said.

“Northwell Health shares our commitment to expanding access to affordable, high-quality health care and pharmacy services,” said Jeff Bruneteau, regional vice president of Eastern operations for Walgreens, in a statement. “Having our pharmacy services available to Northwell Health employees gives them convenient access to a broader network of trusted Walgreens pharmacies.”