Hy-Vee yesterday announced that it is launching a new business subsidiary called RedBox Rx, which it describes as "a new national subsidiary that provides low-cost telehealth and online pharmacy services, and ships prescribed treatments directly to patients’ homes throughout the U.S."
Here's how Hy-Vee frames the new offering:
"RedBox Rx makes it easy for people to get the treatment they need by offering quick, easy and discreet access to a provider who can prescribe prescription medication that is then shipped for free directly to the patient. This low-cost service bypasses insurance and offers treatment plans for men’s health, women’s health, hair and skin, mental health, migraine headaches, primary care and more … Telehealth consultation fees range from FREE to $39, depending on the type of treatment and are provided via a partnership with Reliant Immune Diagnostics’ MDbox platform that integrates with RedBox Rx. Consultation fees are often less expensive than typical medical insurance copays. To keep prices low and save patients the hassle, RedBox Rx does not accept insurance. Patients may, however, use their HSA or FSA card to pay for the telehealth visit or prescription costs."
- KC's View:
It is interesting that Hy-Vee is making this move at the same time as CVS says that it is orienting its business strategy toward a greater role in primary care. And we all know that both Amazon and Walmart have aggressively looking for paths that will build up their healthcare-oriented businesses.
The thing that interests me about the Hy-Vee offering is that there is the potential to connect the delivery of healthcare services and the food business, especially when it comes to fresh food, the consumption of which can have an enormously beneficial impact on people's health. This approach isn't described specifically in the materials I've seen, but it certainly is a possibility - and one that would seem to make sense in the current environment.
I do have one question: RedBox Rx, best I can tell, does not seem to be connected to Redbox, the kiosk-centric video rental company. If that's accurate, the choice of name seems odd and maybe not on-brand when it comes to delivering quality health services.