Why giving free care to the uninsured is good business

Walgreens made some headlines with their program to give free acute care services to those who are unemployed.

Before you think that they’re doing this out of the goodness of their hearts,

Doctors rarely would drop patients who have recently gone on Medicaid, or worse, lost their health insurance altogether. Why? As Dr. Sidorov writes, “Today’s patients with no or non-remunerative insurance were not only yesterday’s richly insured but tomorrow’s also. These providers know that when the economy eventually turns around, these patients are going to join the ranks of the employed/insured.”

Walgreens is applying the same principle. Today’s uninsured patients will, more likely that not, have insurance in the future, and will repay Walgreens back for helping them out during these tough times.

So, rather than patting Walgreens on the back for their kindness, you should be noting their business shrewdness instead.

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories