- Dollar General is piloting mobile clinics at three Tennessee stores in partnership with mobile health provider DocGo.
- The clinics, which are hosted in vans in store parking lots, offer basic, preventative and urgent care services, along with lab testing. Visits are available for walk-ins and by appointment.
- The pilot could expand to additional stores, depending on customer response, as Dollar General continues to grow its healthcare products and services targeted at rural communities.
Dollar General is the latest player to foray into consumer-focused health clinics, following in the footsteps of drugstores and retailers like CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon, UnitedHealth Group, Kroger and more. The goal of such clinics is to serve as a front door to the healthcare system amid rising demand for better, more convenient care and outcomes, and direct consumer dollars to the company’s other healthcare offerings, whether that be pharmacy fulfillment, health plan signups or food sales.
Dollar General took a step deeper into healthcare two years ago, saying it wanted to expand access to healthcare products in rural communities, including a wider assortment of medical, cough and cold and feminine hygiene products under its DG Wellbeing health initiative.
DG Wellbeing now also includes onsite clinicians provided through DocGo at the three Tennessee pilots, the companies announced last week.
Under the new partnership, clinicians can perform physicals and routine checkups, vaccinations and immunizations, screening and lab testing, along with management for chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes, and urgent care services like wound care, according to the DG Wellbeing website.
The initial focus of DG Wellbeing is an expanded health offering, consisting of roughly 30% more feet of healthcare selling space and up to 400 more items as compared to standard stores, Dollar General CEO Jeff Owen said in a third-quarter earnings call in December. It’s similar to CVS’ HealthHUB store offering.
DG Wellbeing was available in roughly 3,200 of Dollar General’s more than 18,800 stores as of October 2022.
Owen addressed the DocGo pilot on the call, saying Dollar General plans to test the offering over the next few months in a bid to bring low-cost health and wellness to rural communities.
Over the summer, Dollar General said it planned to create a healthcare advisory panel to help the Tennessee-based dollar store develop its strategy in health and wellness. The panel includes its first chief medical officer, Albert Wu, who was appointed in 2021.
The Tennessee clinics with DocGo will accept Medicaid, Medicare and select private insurance plans, and will bill those plans at urgent care center rates. DocGo, which was founded in 2015, calls itself a “last-mile” provider, and dispatches clinicians to locations to provide care that would otherwise require a patient to go to a physical clinic. The company, formerly called Ambulnz, went public in 2021 in a merger with a special purpose acquisition company.