Hy-Vee is teaming up with CHI Health to bring walk-in health clinics to two of its Lincoln stores.
Work has started to remodel spaces at the 50th and O streets Hy-Vee and the location in Williamsburg Village near 40th Street and Old Cheney Road.
Matt Hazen, CHI Health's division director for corporate and retail services, said the goal is to have the Quick Care clinics open by mid- to late September.
CHI and Hy-Vee teamed up 10 years ago to open the first Quick Care clinic in Omaha, and there are now clinics in seven locations there. There also is one at the Hy-Vee in Kearney.
Hazen said the two organizations have become natural partners as Hy-Vee has moved more and more into health and wellness offerings in its stores.
Not counting the Lincoln clinics, Hy-Vee so far has opened 43 retail health clinics in stores across its eight-state region.
Erin Bailey, Hy-Vee’s assistant vice president of health and wellness, said the company considers itself an industry leader in promoting health and wellness.
"These new retail health clinics are a perfect fit for us as they allow our customers the convenience of easily seeking health care services in our very own stores," Bailey said.
Hazen said the two Lincoln Quick Care locations will be very similar to the ones in Omaha. They will be staffed by a physician's assistant or advanced nurse practitioner and will offer medical care for minor illnesses and injuries as well as services such as school physicals and vaccinations.
Hours will be 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Holiday hours will vary, but "usually if Hy-Vee is open, we're open," Hazen said.
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Though standalone urgent care clinics have been around for decades, growth in walk-in clinics in retail stores has exploded over the past few years.
According to research from Accenture released in November, the number of retail walk-in clinics in the U.S. is expected to surpass 2,800 by the end of next year. That would be a 47 percent increase since 2014 and nearly the double the number there were in 2012.
The Super Saver store at 27th Street and Pine Lake Road opened a walk-in clinic in 2006 in conjunction with St. Elizabeth hospital, long before St. Elizabeth was purchased by CHI. A second clinic later opened at the Super Saver at 27th Street and Cornhusker Highway, but both clinics later moved to standalone locations under different ownership.
The only other walk-in clinics in retail settings in Lincoln are the three Minute Clinics inside CVS pharmacies at 14th and Superior streets, 70th and O streets and 56th Street and Nebraska 2.
Hazen said a couple of factors are driving the growth in retail clinics. The Affordable Care Act has helped more people get health insurance, meaning there are more people looking for doctors. Also, the continued move by many companies to high-deductible health insurance plans coupled with health savings accounts has shifted more of the health care cost burden onto individuals, which makes them seek out more affordable care.
"The consumer demand for these ... we continue to see it grow," Hazen said.
And that demand could eventually mean more Quick Care clinics at some or all of the other Lincoln Hy-Vees.
"There could (eventually) be one in each store," Hazen said, but for right now we're just looking at these two."
For more information on the Quick Care clinics, go to: http://www.chihealth.com/quick-care.