Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) (Nasdaq:WAG) and the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) today announced that half of the primary care worksite health centers managed by Walgreens Employer Solutions Group have received Medical Home accreditation, with plans to have all of the company’s employer-based primary care centers accredited in the first half of 2013. The accreditation recognizes that each worksite health center meets AAAHC requirements to be considered a patient-centered medical home, embodying best practices and operating in compliance with nationally recognized standards of care. “We’re proud to have received accreditation from AAAHC, an organization that shares our commitment to ensuring health care delivery meets the highest quality standards and is coordinated across the health care spectrum, benefitting both employers and employees,” said Trent Riley, divisional vice president for Walgreens Health and Wellness division. “Walgreens has demonstrated how investing in worksite health programs can reduce costs and improve health outcomes for our clients, and this recognition underscores the broad capabilities and quality of care delivered by the dedicated health care providers at our centers.” As part of the approximately year-long accreditation process, AAAHC representatives visited worksite health centers at a number of Walgreens client sites, including Toyota, Southwire and Fieldale Farms. At each of these locations, on-site surveys were conducted in order to evaluate whether the Walgreens facilities successfully meet AAAHC criteria as a Medical Home. The AAAHC accreditation brings further recognition to Walgreens core structure for demonstrated compliance with AAAHC established clinical, quality and organizational standards related to the management and operation of its worksite health centers. AAAHC has established specific standards for the Medical Home that require them to be patient-centered, physician-directed, comprehensive, accessible, and to coordinate care with all of the patient’s primary care and specialty care provider teams. “The delivery of worksite health care continues to gain momentum as a valuable alternative to traditional points of care, and we look forward to continuing to work with Walgreens to complete its accreditation process,” said John Burke, PhD, president and CEO, AAAHC.
AAAHC, which in 2009 launched the nation’s first medical home accreditation, was also the first organization to offer an on-site survey for the Medical Home. The peer-based surveys allow for a more rigorous process examining the quality of provided, and are conducted by physicians, nurses and clinical administrators who work in ambulatory health care delivery.Employers are increasingly looking to offer on-site health and wellness services, according to a 2011 report from Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. The report shows 23 percent of companies currently offer on-site health services and that an additional 12 percent of companies plan to begin to offer services this year. Walgreens Employer Solutions Group is a leader in implementing innovative strategies to address employer health care needs and challenges. Its primary care worksite health centers are a segment within the 370 employer health centers managed by Walgreens nationwide. Areas of focus at the worksite centers include leveraging advanced analytics to develop tailored strategies and health and wellness services to best meet clients’ needs; expanding the patient-centered Medical Home model across new and existing sites, and establishing medical neighborhoods to connect the worksite health center with Walgreens community pharmacies and other providers. Walgreens worksite health centers are staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals, and offer a broad spectrum of services including primary care, pharmacy, occupational health, fitness, nutrition, chronic disease management, physical therapy, infusion services, chronic disease management, dental, vision and more. About AAAHC The Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), founded in 1979, is the leader in ambulatory health care accreditation with nearly 5,300 organizations accredited nationwide. AAAHC accredits a variety of ambulatory health care organizations, including ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery centers, college student health centers, health plans/managed care organizations, military health care clinics, large medical and dental practices and medical homes. In 2010, AAAHC launched an international accreditation. AAAHC serves as an advocate for the provision of high-quality health care through the development of nationally recognized standards and through its survey and accreditation programs. AAAHC accreditation is recognized as a symbol of quality by third-party payers, medical organizations, liability insurance companies, state and federal agencies and the public. For more information visit www.aaahc.org. About Walgreens As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens ( www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,057 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.