Kroger in talks with healthcare companies for potential venture

Grocery chain Kroger is speaking with potential healthcare partners about starting a healthcare business, according to Bloomberg.

Four things to know:

1. Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen told Bloomberg March 7: "Healthcare is an area where we see a lot of opportunity. We're talking to several potential partners at the moment." Mr. McMullen declined to name the potential partners. 

2. He said Kroger is exploring areas of healthcare it could enter to possibly lower consumers' medical costs.

3. Kroger has already partnered with pharmacy Walgreens for a pilot program that allows customers to order groceries online and pick them up at Walgreens locations. Kroger also operates a specialty pharmacy business that posted strong sales in 2018, Mr. McMullen said.

4. In February, Kroger partnered with Anthem and Cleveland Clinic to provide Kroger associates and their families access to complex heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute under a new bundled payment model.

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