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Rite Aid and Physician Direct ACO Partner to Expand Rite Aid Health Alliance Program

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Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) has announced Physician Direct ACO, based in Sylvan Lake, Mich., as the latest healthcare provider to join its Rite Aid Health Alliance initiative. Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, physicians, Rite Aid pharmacists and special care coaches provide comprehensive care and support to individuals with chronic and poly-chronic health conditions, helping them achieve health improvement goals established by their physicians.

“Since launching our Rite Aid Health Alliance program, we’ve received positive feedback from our physician partners, care coaches, pharmacists and patients alike,” said Robert Thompson, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy. “As we continue to expand Rite Aid Health Alliance, we are excited to announce Physician Direct ACO as our latest Rite Aid Health Alliance partner and to be working with them to improve the health and wellbeing of the chronic and poly-chronic patients in northern Oakland County.”

Rite Aid’s Health Alliance integrated care model is a first for the drugstore industry, because it uniquely leverages the combined expertise of community pharmacists, who are one of the most accessible and trusted resources among healthcare providers, along with specially trained in-store care coaches. Physicians can refer patients who they feel would benefit from additional coaching in areas such as medication management and meal and exercise planning. All members of the care team will communicate regularly with physicians in a true partnership to improve patients’ overall health.

“Through Rite Aid’s Health Alliance program, we’ll be able to further our mission of being a leader in the delivery of high quality and cost effective healthcare,” said Rodger Prong, Physician Direct ACO executive director. “By working closely with Rite Aid pharmacists and care coaches, physicians will be in an even greater position to help their patients successfully manage their condition and achieve desired health outcomes.”

Through Rite Aid Health Alliance, patients with chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, COPD, high cholesterol and diabetes, are recommended to the program by their primary care physician. Rite Aid pharmacists and specially trained care coaches, located in Rite Aid pharmacies, work with the physician and patient on an on-going basis to improve the patient’s overall health and self-management abilities. The care team members collaborate with the patient to establish health goals, eliminate barriers and create a personalized health care action plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

Rite Aid previously announced that it is piloting Rite Aid Health Alliance partnerships with High Point, N.C.-based Cornerstone Health Care; Glendale, Calif.-based Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc. (“ApolloMed”); Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network of Buffalo, N.Y.; Penn State Hershey Health System of Hershey, Pa.; and Heritage Provider Network based in Marina Del Rey, Calif.

In these markets at select Rite Aid pharmacies, Rite Aid provides the care coaches on the team through its wholly owned subsidiary Health Dialog, a leading provider of healthcare patient support, analytics and decision support. Health Dialog coaches will be available in Rite Aid pharmacies, and specialize in behavior change to help patients address lifestyle health issues.

The full range of services available to patients participating in Rite Aid Health Alliance includes medication compliance support; comprehensive medication reviews and reconciliation; nutrition and weight management information; disease education; exercise coaching and tobacco cessation support. Records of all interactions, which occur in Rite Aid pharmacies, as well as updates from the physician, are stored electronically, along with patient profiles including medications and lab results. This supports continuity of care and provides convenient access of information to other members of the patient’s healthcare team.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,600 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia and fiscal 2014 annual revenues of $25.5 billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background and press releases, is available through the company’s website at www.riteaid.com.

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