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Rite Aid Introduces Cutting-edge Rite Aid Health Alliance Program

Rite Aid recently announced a new, cutting-edge program named Rite Aid Health Alliance that positions the company to form partnerships with various healthcare providers and deliver a higher level of care to chronic and poly-chronic patients, those who have one or more chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, COPD and diabetes.

Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, the company collaborates with local physicians to provide comprehensive support and help chronic and poly-chronic patients achieve health improvement goals. This unique integrated care model is a “first” for the drugstore industry, as it leverages the expertise of community pharmacists and integrates specially trained in-store healthcare coaches to help drive positive health outcomes.

EVP of Pharmacy Robert Thompson

EVP of Pharmacy Robert Thompson was one of several company leaders on hand to publicly introduce Rite Aid Health Alliance at a press event in Buffalo, N.Y.

Rite Aid unveiled this new health and wellness initiative on March 10, when Chairman and CEO John Standley, President and COO Ken Martindale and Executive Vice President of Pharmacy Robert Thompson announced the new program at store #1511 in Buffalo, N.Y.

“At Rite Aid, we’re committed to actively working with our customers to keep them well and that includes developing new ways to improve access to high-quality healthcare,” said Standley. “Through our innovative Rite Aid Health Alliance program, we can help patients with the expert resources and support necessary to successfully manage their conditions and improve their overall health and well-being.”

How Rite Aid Health Alliance Works

Once partnerships with local practices are formed, primary care physicians recommend the Rite Aid Health Alliance program to patients who have chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia or depression.

Enrolled patients are then supported by Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained care coaches, who work with the physician to create a personalized healthcare action plan and engage with the patient between physician visits to implement the plan and improve his or her overall health.

In Rite Aid Health Alliance stores, Rite Aid provides care coaches from Health Dialog, a leading provider of healthcare analytics and decision support and wholly owned Rite Aid subsidiary (see related article in this issue).

Rite Aid care coaches and wellness ambassadors

Rite Aid care coaches and Wellness Ambassadors attended the press event in Buffalo, N.Y., to highlight their role in supporting the new Rite Aid Health Alliance program.

Rite Aid pharmacists and care coaches are able to provide a range of services to participating patients including medication adherence support; comprehensive medication reviews and reconciliation; nutrition and weight management information; disease education; exercise coaching and tobacco cessation support.

Records of all interactions, which are primarily face-to-face meetings inside select Rite Aid pharmacies, along with updates from the physician and patient profiles that include medications and lab results, are stored electronically to ensure continuity of care and to provide convenient access of information to other members of the patient’s healthcare team.

Physician: “Rite Aid Health Alliance Serves as an Extension of My Practice”

When Rite Aid announced the program in Buffalo, Rite Aid’s management team was joined by Dr. Raul Vazquez, President of Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network and one of the inaugural Health Alliance Partners.

Dr. Vazquez said he is excited about the potential impact that this new collaborative relationship with Rite Aid could have on the health of his practice’s patients.

“As a physician, I know firsthand how much patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension can benefit from having personalized and frequent contact with their very own healthcare team,” said Dr. Vazquez. “Rite Aid’s Health Alliance program serves as an extension of my practice, providing my patients with convenient access to affordable healthcare outside my office.

“Since partnering with Rite Aid, I’ve seen noticeable improvements in the health of my patients and am looking forward to continued participation in this program,” he added.

Expanding the Program

In addition to Buffalo, Rite Aid has also launched Rite Aid Health Alliance partnerships in Greensboro, N.C., and Glendale, Calif., with Cornerstone and ApolloMed ACO, respectively. Since its inception, the program has delivered over 2,300 coaching visits to nearly 1,500 enrolled patients.

According to Standley, the company plans to expand the program to additional markets and stores over the coming fiscal year.

“We are excited about the results of the program to date and believe it presents a significant opportunity to deliver improved health outcomes for those who need them most,” Standley said. “We look forward to bringing this unique healthcare model to more Rite Aid markets and customers in the future.”