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12/15/2021

Hy-Vee creates digital healthcare subsidiary for uninsured customers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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RedBox Rx
Hy-Vee is launching its new RedBox Rx digital healthcare subsidiary.

A regional Midwest grocery/convenience chain is the latest retailer to enter the digital healthcare services market.

Hy-Vee Inc. is launching RedBox Rx, a new national subsidiary that provides low-cost telehealth and online pharmacy services, as well as ships prescribed treatments directly to patients’ homes throughout the U.S.RedBox offers streamlined access to a provider that can prescribe prescription medication which is then shipped for free directly to the customer.

Designed to be low-cost, the service bypasses insurance and offers treatment plans for patients 18 and older nationwide in categories such as men’s health, women’s health, hair and skin, mental health, migraine headaches, primary care and more.

Telehealth consultation fees range from free to $39, depending on the type of treatment. Services are provided via a partnership with the Reliant Immune Diagnostics MDbox platform, which integrates with RedBox Rx.

RedBox Rx does not accept insurance, but customers may use their HSA or FSA card to pay for the telehealth visit or prescription costs. The service is also a complementary/alternative health care option for the covered conditions that employers can share with their employees, at no cost to the employer.

Telehealth services for both customers and employees are becoming an increasingly popular healthcare technology program among retailers. While expected participants in the retail telehealth space include Amazon and Walmart, even consumer electronics chain Best Buy recently entered into an agreement to acquire Current Health, a U.K. care-at-home technology platform that brings together remote patient monitoring, telehealth and patient engagement into a single solution for healthcare organizations.

A growing number of retailers are also offering digital prescription services, often as an alternative to insurance copays. In June 2021, Walmart and Amazon launched dueling programs designed to remove insurance companies from prescription drug payments. Through a program called Walmart+ Rx for less, any paid Walmart+ member has access to select medications at zero cost, and thousands of additional prescription medications at a discount of up to 85%. 

And Amazon is now offering members of its Prime paid loyalty program six-month prescriptions starting at $6 for a selection of frequently prescribed medications. The company opened Amazon Pharmacy, which allows U.S. customers to order prescription medications for home delivery, with free delivery for Amazon Prime members, in November 2020

Prescription solutions also include the type of same-day prescription delivery services offered by WalgreensCVS has even piloted rapid delivery of prescriptions via drone and self-driving car.

[Read more: Three major healthcare tech trends in retail]

“At Hy-Vee, we pride ourselves on being experts in health and wellness and it’s a major component of what we do every day – whether it be in our retail pharmacies or through our dietetic services,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee chairman and CEO. “In today’s world, we know that more people are looking for quick, convenient and personalized health care options that can be shipped directly to their homes, and RedBox Rx does exactly that.

“Our mission at Reliant Immune Diagnostics with our MDbox platform is to provide affordable health care any place, any time,” said Henry Legere, founder and CEO of Reliant Immune Diagnostics. “We’re excited to partner with Hy-Vee to provide our nationwide network of 24/7/365 medical professionals and our technologies to support their vision for the future of health care.

For a list of conditions that RedBox Rx treats, visit redboxrx.com/services.

Headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, Hy-Vee Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 280 retail stores across eight Midwestern states – Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.