Health Care, Real Estate, and Retail

Hospital and retailer 'explore' pharmacy partnership

April 2, 2015
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Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital was founded in 1873 and is part of the Spectrum Health Medical Center in downtown Grand Rapids. Courtesy Spectrum Health

A hospital may get an on-site retail pharmacy if it can reach a final agreement with a retailer.

Spectrum Health and Meijer said yesterday that they have signed a letter of intent to “explore” opening a pharmacy at Butterworth Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids.

A final agreement would allow Meijer to operate a comprehensive pharmacy at the hospital.

The move would follow a growing national trend to offer improved access and convenience to patients “who choose to have prescriptions filled before leaving the hospital.”

Retail setup

The pharmacy would provide patients, families, employees and hospital providers with an on-campus option for medications and over-the-counter products.

The pharmacy would also include access to the Meijer free prescription program, which has filled more than 23-million prescriptions, saving customers nearly $350 million since 2006 when the program began, as well as prescription transfers to one of its 213 locations and eligibility for the Meijer Pharmacy Rewards program offered through mPerks.

Serving patients

Spectrum said the pharmacy would be part of its efforts to transform its care model.

“We are working to help patients obtain their medications more efficiently,” said Christina Freese-Decker, president, Spectrum Health Hospital Group.

Freese-Decker said a Meijer pharmacy would “ help drive better health outcomes for our patients and enhance their satisfaction and overall experience.”

Spectrum and Meijer also touted the growing focus on healthy lifestyles as another important reason for the partnership.

J.K. Symancyk, Meijer president, said the company’s pharmacies will “continue to evolve as individuals become more focused on leading healthy lifestyles,” and the partnership with Spectrum “continues this evolution, while providing an opportunity to improve patient health.”

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