Are urgent care centers next for CVS Health, Walgreens?

There are now 8,774 urgent care centers in the U.S., a number that has the potential to grow as such companies as CVS Health and Walgreens ramp up their healthcare offerings, according to a Forbes report.

Walgreens is piloting a partnership with MedExpress, the urgent care unit of UnitedHealth Group's Optum. Together Walgreens and MedExpress operate 15 urgent care facilities in Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. In these markets, MedExpress centers open next door to a Walgreens. It is unclear whether Walgreens will pursue opening more urgent care locations within their stores or in partnership with MedExpress.

There is also speculation that CVS Health will enter the urgent care business now that its takeover of health insurer Aetna is finalized. Though CVS hasn't released specific plans, the retail pharmacy giant said it already is working to offer more healthcare services at its stores.

While the services offered at urgent care centers is similar to the those offered at retail health clinics that Walgreens and CVS already operate, urgent care centers generally offer such services  as X-rays and access to board-certified physicians.

Read the full report here.

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