- Joining a growing field of payers looking for other revenue streams, Centene announced plans to launch a health center in Ferguson, Missouri.
- The full-service clinic — a partnership of Centene, its Missouri subsidiary Home State Health, Schnuck Markets and the Betty Jean Kerr People’s Health Centers — will occupy space within the Schnucks supermarket in Ferguson.
- Centene has invested $1.3 million to get the clinic up and running by November of this year.
The move is part of a trend in insurers offering primary care services. In December, New York City-based Oscar Health announced the opening of a full-service primary care center in Brooklyn via a partnership with Mount Sinai Health System. In addition to preventive care and chronic care management, members can access wellness services and free classes and events.
Centene’s clinic will offer low-acuity primary care and urgent care for adults and children age three and older, vaccinations, diagnostic tests, dental services via a mobile unit and referrals for X-rays, mammography screenings and other needed services.
The St. Louis-based payer has some prior experience with health clinics. In 2011, Centene launched a full-service clinic for employees and their dependents on its Clayton, Mo., campus.
Molina Healthcare has 27 clinics in California, Florida, Michigan, New Mexico, Utah and Washington — having started as a single primary clinic in Wilmington, Calif., in 1980 to serve the underserved, according to spokeswoman Sunny Yu. “Most of our business comes from Medicaid, which we provide through our health plans in 12 states and Puerto Rico … but the clinic business is our roots,” Yu told Healthcare Dive.
The strategy could thrive under the Trump administration, which is expected to support services like direct primary care and on-site clinics to help employers reduce healthcare costs and keep workers healthy.