PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

Publix Debuts Virtual Care Services via WellSync

Publix

Grocery chain Publix is the latest company to bring healthcare to the retail space.

The company’s customers can now access virtual care services through digital healthcare firm WellSync, according to a Tuesday (June 25) press release.

After filling out an online health questionnaire, customers can seek care from licensed providers without an appointment, the release said.

“Publix Pharmacy continues to remove barriers so our customers can receive convenient healthcare services,” said Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk in the release. “Convenience is something our customers value and expect; we continue to evaluate programs and services that will help meet their needs.”

WellSync is open to anyone 18 or older seeking care for common health conditions such as allergies or sinus infections, although patients may also use the service to refill certain medications. The service charges $25 per use, and no insurance is required, per the release.

The announcement comes as other retail companies are pushing into the virtual care space. For example, Amazon announced Thursday (June 27) that it is lowering the prices of its telehealth service, part of a rebrand that combines its pay-per-visit telehealth service and its One Medical program into a single brand.

Conversely, Walmart announced in April it was shutting down its health centers and telehealth offering, saying the business model was not sustainable.

The PYMNTS Intelligence “2024 Women’s Wellness Index Report” found there is a need for telehealth services, as many consumers are hamstrung by their inability to attend physical doctor’s appointments. Ten percent of American women cannot make these appointments due to a lack of access to transportation.

These women are 17% less likely to get the preventive medical care they need, 78% more likely to postpone medical care until a problem occurs, and nearly twice as likely to neglect dental care until a problem occurs.

“Although telemedicine is more common these days, many healthcare-related appointments — especially dental appointments — require in-person visits,” PYMNTS reported this month. “If a woman cannot transport herself to an in-person medical appointment, she goes without care, which is a reality for one in 10 women, which limits their ability to be proactive about their health and can lead to worse health outcomes over time.”

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