Walmart and Sam’s Club, along with pharmacies, provider organizations, employers and insurers, are working with a software vendor to make immunizations more widely available.
The company’s employees can get these preventive shots at drug stores, grocery stores and other sites where people congregate, such as a company picnic or community event.
The idea is to work with pharmacists and other entities and show them how to engage customers to get a health service, such as a shingles vaccination, if the customer is due for the shot, and while they are in the establishment.
The vendor is BioIQ, which operates a platform that connects people to health testing services. The company gives healthcare, retail and employer entities a one-stop shop for offering health services, explains Geetha Parachuru, director of product management at BioIQ.
“We offer insights to providers, insurers and pharmacies on how they can improve patient engagement and compliance with immunizations,” she adds.
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The company, using existing pharmacy fill behavior data for a particular organization, can deploy consumer and claims data to conduct advanced analytics targeting members already receiving care in a particular Walmart or other pharmacy or care setting. This provides an alternative solution to screening populations at scale, enabling organizations to manage existing conditions or identify potential risk for early intervention.
Point-of-care testing services include HbA1c, blood pressure, hip/waist circumference, blood glucose, height/weight, FIT testing, BMI and cholesterol/lipids.
The program works is different ways, depending on the company that is the customer. Walmart, for example, will offer a voucher to employees—a pre-paid receipt for an immunization or other service—delivered by the pharmacist or another authorized provider via a web portal.
Walmart employees will just need to show the voucher card and get the service, Parachuru says. When a service is rendered, the vendor will send notice to employers, providers and state immunization programs working with the company.
BioIQ provides public health capabilities outside of the hospital, where it can be difficult for some persons to get a health service, so working with retail establishments where people already are shopping is a good way of making consumers aware that a service is easily available.
For organizations having an event and working with BioIQ, the vendor will schedule, setup and deliver vaccinations. An employer or provider organization may want just the shingles vaccination offered because it does not vary by the season and may hit at any time. Or an organization may offer an A1C test to patients or employees to get them checked. “We provide an alternate way to get a service out,” Parachuru says. People may be shopping and pop in to get a shot.”
The vendor also works with health insurers to send email lists to clinicians to let them know which particular patients of a clinician the insurer wants immunized, such as persons covered under Medicare or Medicaid.
During the flu season there is a sizable uptick in vaccinations with a particular focus on reaching persons of certain ages such as the young and elderly, and educating them on the need to get a shot because even if they get the flu, it likely will be milder, Parachuru notes.
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