Kroger Eyes Adding Senior Physicals To Your Grocery Cart

Kroger is pilot testing a plan to shift some of its in-store clinics to primary care centers for seniors.

A doctor smiles as he writes on notepad while speaking with an older female patient.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kroger is the latest retailer to test the healthcare waters, focusing on seniors, by partnering with a managed care provider that offers Medicare Advantage among other healthcare plans.

The grocery giant is teaming up with provider Better Health Group to shift eight of its Atlanta-based, in-store clinics — known as The Little Clinic — to primary care physician clinics for seniors.

Better Health said in a statement that it will manage all aspects of the primary healthcare needs of seniors with Medicare, including those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. Kroger has found that about 60% of seniors who enter its clinics are lacking a primary care doctor, it said. The clinic will function as a physician's office, focused on the unique needs of seniors, including diagnoses as well as preventive care, it added.

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Depending on how successful the launch is, Kroger will roll out the program in other markets in 2024, according to a December 18 Fierce Healthcare report.

“There’s a huge opportunity just in general to serve patients and provide longitudinal care,” Jim Kirby, Kroger Health’s chief commercial officer, said in the Fierce Healthcare report.

"Medicare wants 100% of its payments, by 2030, to be under some sort of value-based care agreement,” he said. “The writing is on the wall for all of healthcare. We wanted to be ahead of the game. Instead of acquiring a primary care company, like others are doing, we decided to look at our own assets and we can convert some of these clinics over and do value-based care within our in-store model."

A growing trend

The grocery chain has made a number of moves to expand its healthcare offerings in recent years. Earlier this month, Kroger announced a partnership with Soda Health to provide customers with nutrition and pharmacy services. In August, Kroger added to its Medicare Advantage plan offerings by teaming up with Select Health.

But Kroger is just one on a long list of retailers adding healthcare, including telehealth, services to its offerings. Telehealth has been gaining momentum for both online as well as brick-and-mortar stores as a way to provide consultations and prescriptions to customers, as Kiplinger previously reported.

Other recent healthcare developments from major brands include:

Kroger Health operates nearly 2,300 pharmacies across 35 states and 225 Little Clinics in nine states in those pharmacy locations. For more information on a variety of healthcare services, including how to get free flu shots, check out its My Health Portal

Jamie Feldman

Jamie Feldman is a journalist, essayist and content creator. After building a byline as a lifestyle editor for HuffPost, her articles and editorials have since appeared in Cosmopolitan, Betches, Nylon, Bustle, Parade, and Well+Good. Her journey out of credit card debt, which she chronicles on TikTok, has amassed a loyal social media following. Her story has been featured in Fortune, Business Insider and on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, CBS News, and NPR. She is currently producing a podcast on the same topic and living in Brooklyn, New York.