- Hy-Vee announced on Tuesday the launch of RedBox Rx, a new telehealth and prescription delivery service that addresses primary care needs, mental health and other conditions.
- Users consult with a medical professional either through chat or video conference and receive a care plan along with any prescriptions, which are shipped directly to their home in one to three days. Telehealth fees range from free to $39, and RedboxRx does not accept insurance.
- The new service builds on Hy-Vee’s existing health and pharmacy services, including its Amber Specialty Pharmacy division.
With its new RedBox Rx service, Hy-Vee is capitalizing on the substantial growth in consumers using telemedicine services during the pandemic. According to a recent report by McKinsey, utilization of telehealth services in February of this year was 38 times higher than the previous year, before the global health crisis hit.
RedBox users fill out an intake on the service’s website, which then gets reviewed by medical staff within 24 hours. Individuals then have a chat or video consultation — some states and medications require video calls, according to RedBox’s site — and receive a care plan, including any prescriptions for home shipment. Virtual care services and staff are provided by Reliant Immune Diagnostics’ MDbox platform, which is integrated with RedBox.
RedBox advertises treatment for a variety of health issues along with hair and skin conditions, primary care needs and mental health challenges like anxiety and depression. The program’s website notes that it should not be used as a replacement for care through a primary physician.
Hy-Vee noted that RedBox does not accept insurance to keep its program costs low and "save patients the hassle." Patients can still use HSA or FSA cards to pay for telehealth services or prescription costs. Follow-up telehealth appointments cost $10, according to the RedBox site.
RedBox also lets shoppers set up automatic prescription refills and deliveries.
Healthcare providers and companies are steering toward prescription delivery as a way to cut costs and capitalize on high e-commerce demand. Pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS offer same-day delivery while Amazon launched its online pharmacy service last year.
Hy-Vee operates 285 grocery stores and offers pharmacy as well as dietary services at many locations. The company also owns Amber Specialty Pharmacy, which provides medication for rare diseases, cancer treatment and other complex and chronic conditions.