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Walgreens (WBA), VillageMD Plan to Expand Into Tampa, Florida

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Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. WBA and VillageMD recently announced plans to open 20 new Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices in the Tampa area over the next year. VillageMD provides leading value-based primary care services nationwide via its subsidiary Village Medical.

The first Village Medical at Walgreens site in Tampa opened on Oct 26 at the 6996 U.S. Highway 19 North in Pinellas Park, with several more locations set to open in early 2022. These openings represent expansion into the second-largest market in Florida, after Orlando (which is set to have 10 locations by 2021-end).

It is worth noting that Village Medical will employ nearly 400 well-compensated STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) healthcare professionals in the 20 newly-opened Village Medical at Walgreens locations across the Tampa Bay area. This is expected to create more than 990 jobs within the community.

Enhanced Accessibility to Primary Care

Walgreens and VillageMD have teamed up to offer a coordinated care model that provides comprehensive primary care along with convenient pharmacy services. Primary care physicians at Village Medical and Walgreens pharmacists collaborate to treat chronic conditions as well as common illnesses and injuries.

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Zacks Investment Research

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By bringing physicians and pharmacists together, Walgreens and VillageMD are collaborating to enhance overall care for Tampa residents. This coordinated care team model will likely benefit Tampa residents, particularly patients with chronic conditions, who require continuing care. This coordinated model helps to lower costs and improve outcomes for patients. The pharmacy team at Walgreens can help patients choose affordable medication options and have prescriptions ready for in-store pick-up, drive-thru, or delivery when patients leave the primary care visit.

Village Medical accepts a variety of health insurance options at Walgreens locations. Patients can seek care and assistance through in-person, at-home and telehealth visit options.

More on the News

Walgreens has entered into a strategic partnership with VillageMD to open 1,000 primary care practices by 2027. By the end of 2021, more than 80 Village Medical at Walgreens practices are expected to be operational. Village Medical at Walgreens sites will help fulfill the needs of all individuals, especially those who may not have access to healthcare and are at greater risk of health disparities, with more than 50% of the practices situated in medically underserved areas.

Industry Prospects

Per a report published in Future Market Insights, the global value-based healthcare services market is projected to witness a CAGR of 20.9% during 2021-2031. Factors such as the increasing incidence of chronic diseases and greater requirements for high-quality care services are driving the market for value-based healthcare services.

Further, per company-provided data, with the growing incidence of multiple chronic diseases in Florida, more than 6 million residents will likely be diagnosed with three or more chronic diseases in 2030 if the current trends continue. However, many people lack access to primary care.

Given these market prospects, the latest plans to open 20 new Village Medical at Walgreens primary care practices in the Tampa area seem well-timed.

Notable Developments

In October 2021, Walgreens expanded its Mental Health First Aid training for more than 27,000 Walgreens pharmacists. The company also collaborated with LifeWorks, Mental Health America, to support initiatives that promote a mentally healthy workplace. Meanwhile, the Boots business introduced new services through its Health Hub and Online Doctor Platforms to help meet the growing need for mental health services in communities across Europe and the U.K.

In the same month, Walgreens and Vitamin Angels reported a new milestone in their eight-year collaboration, with more than 300 million women and children receiving life-changing vitamins and minerals. Walgreens has backed Vitamin Angels’ efforts to offer vitamins and minerals to undernourished women and children around the world since 2013.

In September 2021, the company announced a majority investment in Shields Health Solutions via its wholly-owned subsidiary, Walgreen Co. The investment, worth approximately $970 million, expands on a minority equity investment announced by Walgreens in July 2019. This will benefit Shields’ health system-based specialty pharmacy strategy.

Share Price Performance

The stock has underperformed its industry over the past year. It has rallied 12.3% against the industry’s 22.3% increase.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Walgreens Boots carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Chemed Corporation CHE, National Vision Holdings, Inc. EYE and West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. WST, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Chemed has a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.7%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed in one, delivering a surprise of 5.6%, on average.

Chemed has outperformed its industry over the past year. CHE has gained 3.7% against a 35.6% industry decline. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

National Vision has a long-term earnings growth rate of 23%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 113.1%.

National Vision has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. EYE has gained 18.1% versus the industry’s 0.1% decline.

West Pharmaceutical has a long-term earnings growth rate of 27.6%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering an average surprise of 29.4%.

West Pharmaceutical has outperformed the industry it belongs to in the past year. WST has gained 43.6% versus the industry’s 16.5% growth.


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