CVS taps three companies to expand telehealth services

Drugstore chain CVS Health announced Wednesday that it is teaming up with telehealth services providers American Well, Doctor On Demand and Teladoc to further services to CVS customers.

A CVS pilot test of telehealth through its MinuteClinic chain of in-store clinics ended successfully in July, a company spokesman said. The alliances will explore how the Woonsocket, R.I.,-based drug chain might extend those services to people outside the confines of its clinics and drugstores, according to a company statement.

"During our initial phase of exploration of telehealth in our store-based clinics, we learned that we could deliver excellent quality care and that patients were extremely satisfied with the care provided," said Dr. Andrew Sussman, executive vice president/associate chief medical officer at CVS Health and president of MinuteClinic.

"As we examine additional ways to utilize telehealth to improve and expand patient care, we have the opportunity to partner with telehealth organizations in the care of patients at home," Sussman said.

The announcement comes in the wake of news that drugstore rival Walgreens will allow provider Providence Health & Services to take over health clinics in some of its stores in Washington and Oregon.

Earlier this year, Walgreens said it planned to expand a telemedicine app it started testing in 2014 that lets people see doctors for minor ailments.

Walgreens plans to make it available in 25 states and estimates that would allow it to reach about half the U.S. population.

Joseph Conn

Joseph Conn reports on information technology, privacy and data security. He has been a reporter and editor for 35 years for various news publications and taught journalism at Valparaiso (Ind.) University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in English. He also worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone. Conn joined Modern Physician in 2000, serving as reporter, editor and online editor. He joined Modern Healthcare in 2005.

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