All the way back in October, I wrote a column in D CEO about a wave of new and old companies that are attempting to break into primary and urgent care services. One of those was CVS’ MinuteClinic chain, which have now successfully launched inside Target department stores.
On Tuesday, the Rhode Island-based in-store health provider announced that the transition was complete, adding the clinics to Target stores in Allen, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Hurst, Plano, and Watauga. With the CVS locations, that brings the total in North Texas to 50. The centers are staffed with nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can diagnose, treat, and prescribe drugs for simple ailments like strep throat and minor wounds. It also offers vaccinations, preventions, and wellness screenings.
It accepts most public and private insurance plans as well as cash—it keeps a running log of the prices of its services on its website. The locations are looking to eat into the market occupied by urgent care, as more than half of visits occur on nights and weekends, the company says. CVS acquired all Target pharmacies (1,672) and retail clinics (79) last December.
“I think, years ago, there was more of a mentality where the health system was at the center and the patient accessed the health center based on its availability,” Dr. Nancy Gagliano, MinuteClinic’s chief medical officer and a board-certified primary care physician, told me then. “Consumers are becoming more expecting of their needs being met, so they are particularly interested in being able to have a little more control over when they get seen.”