Starting Jan. 1, Medicaid enrollees with Passport Health Plan coverage will be able to seek care at many Kroger retail health clinics.

Called ‘The Little Clinic,’ the Kroger clinics are open seven days a week, including evenings. Appointments aren’t necessary and patients 24 months and up are accepted.

Studies have shown some of the biggest barriers to health care for Medicaid patients are long wait times for a primary care appointment, finding transportation and getting time off work.

The Little Clinic is open on weekends and at night, which was a big factor in including them in the network, said Michael Rabkin, communications director with Medicaid plan Passport Health.

“We know that a lot of people have a hard time getting into see the doc, fitting it around school and their jobs,” Rabkin said. “That’s why we wanted to allow Passport members to access Little Clinic Services.”

Symptoms like fever, sore throat, minor cuts and scrapes are more appropriately treated somewhere other than the emergency room, said Rabkin.

Three dozen Kroger clinics in Kentucky are included in the network, including 13 in Jefferson County.