As the world embraces recession headwinds, companies globally are exploring new avenues to create value for customers, increase revenue, and monetize their services. Healthcare, in particular, is at an enigmatic intersection; costs are skyrocketing, margins are thin, labor shortages are plenty, and demand for better care delivery and outcomes has never been higher.
With these factors in mind, organizations are shifting their approach regarding healthcare delivery, and triaging which problem to solve first. However, the industry undoubtedly recognizes that there is a very real demand for high quality healthcare services that is here to stay.
This is where Dollar General apparently sees a promising opportunity. The historically retail focused company announced last week that it will be partnering with DocGo, a leading mobile medical services provide, to enable basic healthcare services. DocGo, a relatively new service, prides itself on a variety of factors including trained providers, a robust transportation and logistics network, and an advanced data and AI platform. It also touts its ability to go the “last mile,” deploying providers to enable care on-site that would otherwise require a patient to go to a physical clinic.
Dollar General is moving forward with this partnership as a part of its “Wellbeing” initiative, explaining that this new platform will enable “quick, easy health visits…right outside the store.” Services include preventative care such as physicals and routine checkups, and even chronic condition management, such as management of diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure.
This move by Dollar General is definitely a strategic path forward to increasing revenues and diversifying itself. The value to patients and consumers is relatively straightforward: with this new business proposition, taking care of health issues or a prescription refill becomes as easy as a quick run to the store to buy basic supplies or groceries. Assuredly, consumers certainly appreciate this, especially as convenience in healthcare has become a prominent issue after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dollar General is certainly not the only retailer that is piloting this model. Over the last two years, Walmart has significantly expanded its healthcare capabilities at stores. Yet again, the company is trying to optimize for customer convenience, providing them with an affordable and easy means to receive healthcare. The health business and the retail business are symbiotic: foot traffic in one will hopefully propagate foot traffic for the other.
Overall, companies are increasingly committed to making the entire healthcare journey easier for patients by providing not only location convenience, but also by enabling price transparency, fast turn-around times for results, low wait times, and overall, empowering these services with better customer service. After all, healthcare is ripe for disruption in this sense, as for many years, it did not prioritize customer-service oriented levers, but rather just its core objective of trying to achieve great health outcomes. This is insufficient for modern society, which demands not only great outcomes, but also great customer service and convenience.
Dollar General’s initiative with DocGo is definitely something to watch in the coming months and years. With 18,000+ stores nationwide, there is huge scope for not only growing this service from a business opportunity perspective, but also from the perspective of providing people with convenient and accessible healthcare services.