Dollar General launches health clinics

As the world embraces recessionary headwinds, companies globally are exploring new avenues to create value for customers, increase revenue and monetize their services. The healthcare system in particular is at a puzzling crossroads; costs are skyrocketing, margins are thin, labor shortages are great, and the demand for better care and outcomes has never been higher.

With these factors in mind, organizations are changing their approach to healthcare delivery, trying to figure out which problem to solve first. However, the industry undoubtedly recognizes that there is a very real demand for quality healthcare that is here to stay.

This is where Dollar General apparently sees a promising opportunity. The historically retail-focused company announced last week that it will partner with DocGo, a leading mobile medical services provider, to enable basic healthcare services. DocGo, a relatively new service, prides itself on a number of factors, including trained suppliers, a robust transportation and logistics network, and an advanced data and AI platform. It also demonstrates its ability to go the “last mile,” deploying providers to enable on-site treatment that would otherwise require a patient to go to a physical clinic.

Dollar General is moving forward with this partnership as part of its “Wellness” initiative, explaining that this new platform will enable “quick, easy health visits … right outside the store.” Services include preventive care such as physicals and routine checkups, and even treatment of chronic conditions, such as treating diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure.

This move by Dollar General is definitely a strategic way forward to increase revenue and diversify itself. The value for patients and consumers is relatively simple: With this new business proposition, taking care of health concerns or a prescription refill will be as easy as a quick trip to the store to buy basic supplies or groceries. Consumers are sure to appreciate this, especially as convenience in healthcare has become a prominent theme following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dollar General is certainly not the only retailer piloting this model. Over the past two years, Walmart has significantly expanded its in-store health services. Once again, the company is trying to optimize for the convenience of its customers, providing them with an affordable and easy way to receive healthcare services. Healthcare and retail are symbiotic: foot traffic in one will hopefully spread foot traffic for the other.

Overall, companies are increasingly committed to making whole healthcare journey easier for patients by offering not only convenience of location, but also by enabling price transparency, fast turnaround times for results, low wait times, and generally providing these services with better customer service. After all, healthcare is ripe for disruption in this sense, as for many years it did not prioritize customer service-oriented levers, but rather only its core goal of trying to achieve good health outcomes. This is insufficient for modern society, which demands not only good results, but also good customer service and convenience.

Dollar General’s initiative with DocGo is definitely something to watch in the coming months and years. With 18,000+ stores across the country, there is great scope to not only expand this service from a business opportunity perspective, but also from the perspective of providing people with convenient and accessible healthcare.

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