Healthcare Business News

CVS' MinuteClinic affiliates with four regional systems

By Rachel Landen
Posted: May 20, 2014 - 1:45 pm ET

CVS Caremark Corp. and four regional health systems have announced new clinical affiliations designed to facilitate care coordination and collaboration while improving patient-medication adherence through the use of an integrated electronic health-record system.

The four systems—Hartford (Conn.) HealthCare; Memorial Health, Savannah, Ga.; Lahey Health, Burlington, Mass.; and Baystate Health, Springfield, Mass.—join 32 others that have already established affiliations with Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Caremark and its MinuteClinic line of retail clinics. The newest four, however, are the first to receive secure electronic messages and alerts from CVS pharmacists regarding potential issues related to patients' medication adherence.

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It's part of a plan for MinuteClinic and its pharmacists to electronically share medical histories, prescription information and visit summaries with patients' primary-care providers in order to better coordinate care and follow-up between nurse practitioners at the clinic locations and physicians in the affiliated health systems.

“Many patients rely on their local pharmacist for information and support regarding their prescription medications and these affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated systems' patients' health outcomes through better medication adherence,” Dr. Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer for CVS Caremark, said in a news release. “MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in healthcare.”

CVS operates more than 7,600 retail pharmacy locations across the country where pharmacists offer medication counseling for patients with chronic diseases. There are also more than 800 MinuteClinic locations available within CVS pharmacies, providing diagnosis and treatment for common illnesses, health-condition monitoring for chronic diseases, and wellness and prevention services.

In March, CVS announced that it had selected Epic Systems Corp. as the provider of an electronic health-record system for its MinuteClinic division. Epic's EHR, which will interconnect with MinuteClinic's affiliated healthcare organizations, is expected to replace MinuteClinic's existing proprietary system within the next two years.

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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