TWO NATIONAL COMPANIES just signed the lab industry’s largest agreement to put clinical laboratory patient service centers (PSCs) into retail stores. Earlier this month, Walgreens Boots Alliance and Laboratory Corporation of America announced plans to open 600 PSCs in Walgreens stores in coming years.
Since June 2017, Walgreens and LabCorp have opened 17 patient service centers in four states. In these sites in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, and North Carolina, the two companies say they are offering consumers easy access to healthcare services. The 17 current PSCs are located near the pharmacy areas inside Walgreens stores and are part of LabCorp’s network of some 2,000 PSCs across the country.
“The primary reason for expanding LabCorp at Walgreens is that there has been a positive response from consumers and healthcare providers to the initial 17 locations,” LabCorp said in response to questions from The Dark Report. “These sites are meeting a strong demand for consumers to access quality, trusted lab testing services in a convenient location in the community.”
In general, the 600 new PSCs will operate as most other LabCorp PSCs do, the company said. Specimens are collected for a broad range of testing, but certain services, such as drug screening, varies by location, the lab company said.
The two companies also may offer point-of-care services such as biometric screening, which is already provided in some LabCorp service centers, LabCorp added. In the future, LabCorp and Walgreens may offer some on-site testing in the LabCorp PSC at Walgreens sites, the company said.
LabCorp was not ready to discuss the locations of the new PSCs except to say they would be opened in markets nationwide. And, LabCorp did not have any additional information on when the new sites would be open.
For now, there will be no difference in price for testing performed at the already-operating PSCs, LabCorp said. Walgreens declined to answer questions about the partnership, preferring to let LabCorp address these issues.
It should be noted that Walgreens and LabCorp announced the addition of 600 new PSCs one day after CVS Health, another large pharmacy retailer, announced that the Department of Justice had approved its merger with health insurer Aetna. Reports show that Walgreens considers CVS to be one of its biggest competitors.
This PSC agreement between Walgreens and LabCorp supports a trend already identified by The Dark Report to put PSCs in retails stores. (See TDR, Oct. 30, 2017.) Consumers prefer a store nearer to their home over having to drive to a hospital campus to provide their specimens.