New Models of Primary Care

Direct, Onsite, Near-site ... and Walgreens​

by Mark Lacher

If you’ve heard one thing from us over the past few years, it’s that our healthcare ecosystem needs significant changes – and that those changes should start with primary care. The current model of primary care – from consumer to payer to provider, is broken. Fortunately, emerging models of primary care offer a new vision of what is possible and where the industry is headed.

Here are three models that are remaking the primary care space – and making significant impacts on the quality and cost of healthcare for individuals and employers:

  • Direct Primary Care (DPC)
  • Onsite or Near-site Clinics
  • Walgreens Primary Care Clinics

Direct Primary Care

This is the most “progressive” model in the marketplace and is the umbrella term used for an entire movement of primary care practitioners. These doctors are leaving the mainstream health systems behind and instead adopting a “direct to patient” model, where the patient (or their employer) pays a
fixed monthly amount and in return receives full primary care services. Watch the video from Dr. Bricker for a good overview.

Onsite / Near-Site Clinics

Usually reserved for the very largest employers, the trend of onsite or near-site primary care clinics (sometimes with occupational health attached) is growing for middle-market companies as well. There are a variety of examples and a host of new companies that are making this a reality for employers. One local / regional example is  Everside Health, and a more national player is WeCare. We encourage you to check both of them out below.


Recently Walgreens made some noise when they announced a partnership with VillageMD to bring primary care to 800 or so of their pharmacy locations. Unlike CVS which is utilizing the “minute-clinic” approach, by partnering with VillageMD Walgreens is committing to a more advanced and holistic
form of primary care. We expect the competition of large players in this marketplace to grow over the coming years as other giants like Walmart rollout their own primary care strategies to consumers. Read the full press release.

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