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    Hy-Vee Plans 10 Walk-In Clinics

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- In a bid to up the ante on convenient in-store services, Hy-Vee, Inc. here is set to open a walk-in medical clinic in a new replacement store set to open March 2, the first of a planned 10 clinics the chain expects to open in 2006.

    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- In a bid to up the ante on convenient in-store services, Hy-Vee, Inc. here is set to open a walk-in medical clinic in a new replacement store set to open March 2, the first of a planned 10 clinics the chain expects to open in 2006.

    The inaugural clinic will open in a replacement store in Columbus, Neb., Hy-Vee said. It is the first of an alliance with Curaquick Clinics, a Sioux City-based healthcare provider specializing in retail delivery of basic medical services.

    The objective of the joint program is to operate the walk-in clinics, with extended hours of operation that would appeal to busy families. "Offering on-site care to those with minor ailments is just one more service we can offer to our busy customers, who have, for some time now, made their demands for both convenience and quality service well-known," said Mary Hunter, Hy-Vee's a.v.p. of real estate.

    Hunter said Hy-Vee expects to open the remaining nine medical clinics covered under the agreement within the next year. She said the chain is still working with Curaquick to determine which stores will receive clinics in coming months.

    Staffed primarily by nurse practitioners or physician assistants, the clinics will operate on a first-come, first-serve basis, and treat minor illnesses and ailments such as allergies, heartburn, colds, and coughs. They will also dispense vaccinations for flu, pneumonia, and tetanus.

    John Daniels, Curaquick cofounder and chief executive, said in-store medical clinics provide an affordable option for basic healthcare services. "Consumers want choices, and healthcare is no exception," Daniels said.

    Dan Burrow, another cofounder of Curaquick, said the clinics' fees are affordable, and thus fill a void for people who are uninsured, or underinsured. "Curaquick's fee structure is also attractive to people with insurance in today's environment of higher deductible and co-payment requirements," Burrow added.

    Signs outside the clinic will list the types of medical care offered. Consumer who come to the clinic with more serious or chronic conditions will be referred to doctors, hospitals or urgent care facilities, the Curaquick officials said. Insured patients who receive treatment will receive a detailed receipt to submit to their insurance carriers.

    Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 222 retail stores in seven midwestern states. For 2005 the company recorded total sales of $4.9 billion, ranking it among the top 20 supermarket chains and the top 35 private companies in the U.S.

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