Bellin Health, Shopko to open Rochester, Minn., FastCare

06/03/2007

Retail health clinic provides convenient, economical offering for basic health care needs.

GREEN BAY - Bellin Health and Shopko, announced today they are partnering to open retail health clinics in select Shopko stores nationwide.

Bellin and Shopko are opening the first FastCare clinic outside of Wisconsin on July 16 in Rochester, Minn. The FastCare clinic will be located in the Rochester Shopko store, 3708 Highway 63 North.

FastCare is a retail health clinic exclusive to Bellin and Shopko that provides convenient and economical health care services for the general public for many basic health conditions. Staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, the cost for a FastCare visit is $39 to $45 based on location and can be billed to the person's insurance carrier.

Among the types of conditions seen and treated at FastCare are sore throats, fevers, flus and colds, ear and sinus infections and allergies. The FastCare menu of services has expanded to include free blood pressures and basic health screenings, sports/camp physicals and select immunizations.

The clinics will also have convenient hours, typically: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. -8:30 p.m., Saturdays 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This is Shopko's fourth FastCare clinic to open in the past year. The first three were in Green Bay and Manitowoc. These first FastCare clinics have exceeded expectations as consumers are hungry for convenient, low-cost options for their basic healthcare needs.

Retail health clinics are a growing phenomenon throughout the country. Bellin's model is to integrate the FastCare clinics into the premier primary care providers in the local area.

In Rochester, Bellin and Shopko have chosen to partner with Olmsted Medical Center. OMC has been southeastern Minnesota's hometown healthcare provider since 1949. They have 149 clinicians and 10 community branched clinics.

OMC is best known for its convenient, quality personal primary care. Olmsted will operate the new Rochester FastCare clinic utilizing their providers and Bellin's platform for operations and marketing.

"We are pleased to be partnering with Shopko to offer FastCare clinics to communities throughout the country," said George Kerwin, Bellin president and chief executive officer. "This opportunity allows Bellin to work with other community health systems and share the FastCare platform which will allow quick, cost effective implementation for other health systems.

"Providing quality healthcare that is convenient-both in hours and location, as well as being economically priced is very important to us. FastCare has proven to provide that in Northeast Wisconsin and will provide that to communities we partner with."

Mike Bettiga, Shopko senior vice president for retail health, shares the enthusiasm.

"We're thrilled to be partnering with Bellin Health and expanding FastCare to Rochester," he said. "The feedback has been great in our Wisconsin stores. FastCare is a perfect fit with Shopko's expertise in retail health which includes our pharmacies, our eye care centers and our retail healthcare products.

"Not only does this concept provide true one-stop shopping for today's busy families, we believe it increases accessibility to health care at a lower cost."

To ensure quality health care services, all FastCare clinics follow the guidelines defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. These include offering to send each person's primary care physician a report following the visit, having a well-defined and limited scope of clinical services with treatment plans that are evidenced based, and having a system for referring patients to physicians when symptoms exceed the clinic's scope of services.

FastCare only takes walk-in patients, but waits are usually non-existent or minimal. Should there be a wait, people can take a silent pager to be used in the store that will alert them when the provider is ready.

Faster pharmacy service is provided based on immediate transmittal of prescriptions to the Shopko pharmacy or the pharmacy of the patient's choice.