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Publix plans more in-store telehealth stations

Supermarket chain enters second health system partnership

Publix Super Markets Inc. has teamed up with Florida health network Flagler Health+ to provide retail pharmacy and primary care services.

Initially, the partnership plans to open three Flagler Health+-branded telehealth stations inside Publix stores in St. Johns County, Fla., and a Publix Pharmacy at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla.

Jason_Barrett_of_Flagler_Hospital_Dain_Rusk_of_Publix_Pharmacy.pngJason Barrett, CEO of Flagler Hospital, and Dain Rusk, Publix VP of pharmacy, inaugurate plans for a Publix Pharmacy at the hospital.

The telehealth stations will be housed in a private room where patients can speak directly with a doctor via videoconferencing. The physician will be able to direct patients to use on-site diagnostic tools — such as stethoscopes, blood pressure cuffs and high-definition cameras — to make a diagnosis and write any necessary prescriptions. Publix Pharmacy support staff also will be on hand to assist patients.

“Using technology to make health care more convenient and affordable is one way we can improve the lives of our customers and associates,” Dain Rusk, vice president of pharmacy at Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix, said in a statement. “Flagler Health+ has a 130-year history of providing the best possible care to the St. Johns County community. We believe this collaboration reflects our common values and will allow both of our organizations to provide better access to health care for everyone in the area.”

Locations and opening dates for the telehealth stations haven’t been set. The companies said fees for the telehealth services, which don’t require an appointment, will be competitive with a typical doctor’s office co-payment.

“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Publix Pharmacy. Our shared passion for strengthening communities, improving health and delivering customer value serves as a solid foundation for bringing innovative products and services to the residents of St. Johns County,” said Flagler Health+ President and CEO Jason Barrett. “Having served Northeast Florida since 1889, we take the trust our community places in us very seriously. Our decision to align with Publix, one of the world’s most admired brands, reflects that.”

The Flagler Hospital location will be Publix’s 12th pharmacy operating inside a hospital. The grocer’s collaboration with Flagler Health+ also marks its second partnership with a regional health network in Florida.

In March 2017, Publix announced an alliance with BayCare Health System to offer telehealth and in-hospital pharmacy services in Florida’s Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties. The agreement calls for the opening of BayCare-bannered Walk-In Care telehealth centers in more than two dozen Publix stores over two years, BayCare HealthHub health screening kiosks at all Publix locations in the service area and Publix Pharmacy departments at five BayCare hospitals.

Other Florida hospitals where Publix operates pharmacies include the Nemours Children’s Hospital in Lake Nona Medical City in Orlando; Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami; H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Moffitt McKinley Campus in Tampa; and Lakeland Regional Medical Center in Lakeland.

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