California Community

Kaiser-Target Partnership Another Step in ‘Retailization’ of Health Care

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
12/01/14  10:03 PM PST

by George Lauer, for California Healthline

Marking a significant step in what might be called the “retailization” of health care delivery, Kaiser Permanente is partnering with Target to open medical clinics in the retail stores in Southern California.

Three Kaiser clinics opened last week in Target stores in Fontana, San Diego and Vista. Another is scheduled to open next week in West Fullerton.

Chain retailers — CVS, Walmart, Target and others — have operated clinics in their stores for years, but the Kaiser-Target partnership is a notable new chapter: Kaiser’s size and previously insular reputation suggest a new, perhaps far-reaching change in health care delivery, relying heavily on telehealth technology. The partnership is new and small, but Kaiser officials hope the model will grow in the eight states and District of Columbia where Kaiser does business.

The clinics represent a couple of significant firsts for Kaiser, California’s largest HMO with about 7.3 million members. The move marks Kaiser’s first foray into retail settings and the first time its providers will routinely treat patients covered by other insurers.

Health care changes in California — especially involving the state’s largest HMO — are often carefully watched by the rest of the country.

“This is definitely new for us, however it fits in the larger context of a strategy we have called Care Anywhere,” said Chris Stenzel, senior vice president of business development and innovation at Kaiser.

Read the Full Article at California Healthline.