The Rite Fit

Rite Aid Health Alliance adds new care partner in a unique integrated care model for the drugstore industry

Rite Aid Health Alliance (Boston, MA) team-based care initiative announced it added Reliance ACO (Farmington Hills, MI) as its newest partner, making it the eighth health provider partner in the alliance. Under the program, Rite Aid pharmacists team up with physicians and in-store health coaches from Rite Aid’s Health Dialog subsidiary to work together to support patients with chronic and polychronic conditions. Referred by physicians, beneficiaries collaborate with team members to set health goals and learn self-management skills. Services available under the program include medication adherence support, comprehensive medication reviews, nutrition information, disease education, and smoking-cessation support.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2015 annual revenues of $26.5 billion.

“Adding healthcare providers, such as Reliance ACO, to our Rite Aid Health Alliance portfolio further enables us to provide our communities with unique healthcare resources,” said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “We look forward to collaborating with our latest partner, Reliance ACO, as we work to bring a broad range of services to patients with chronic and poly-chronic conditions in southeast Michigan.”

Rite Aid says its Health Alliance integrated care model is a first for the drugstore industry, “because it uniquely leverages the combined expertise of community pharmacists, who are one of the most accessible and trusted resources among healthcare providers, along with specially trained in-store care coaches,” according to a release. Physicians can refer patients who they feel would benefit from additional coaching in areas such as medication management and meal and exercise planning. All members of the care team will communicate regularly with physicians in a true partnership to improve patients’ overall health, the release said.

“Reliance ACO is excited to announce its partnership with Rite Aid Health Alliance. This collaboration represents our commitment to improving patient outcomes and delivering cost effective healthcare,” said Gene Farber, Reliance ACO CEO. “By partnering with Rite Aid pharmacists and care coaches in our community, our patients will have expanded access to tools and resources to manage their chronic and poly-chronic conditions successfully.”

Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, patients with chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, COPD, high cholesterol and diabetes, are recommended to the program by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained care coaches, located in Rite Aid pharmacies, work with the physician and patient on an on-going basis to improve the patient’s overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers and create a personalized health care action plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

Rite Aid says it is currently piloting Health Alliance partnerships with High Point, N.C.-based Cornerstone Health Care; Glendale, Calif.-based Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. (“ApolloMed”); Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network of Buffalo, N.Y.; Penn State Hershey Health System of Hershey, Pa.; Heritage Provider Network based in Marina Del Rey, Calif; Physician Direct ACO of Sylvan Lake, Mich.; Louisville, Ky. based Quality Independent Physicians.

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