MinuteClinic, the chain of walk-in clinics owned by CVS Caremark Corp., will have to wait until January to learn whether Massachusetts lawmakers will allow the retail-based provider to operate in the state.
The states Public Health Council on Tuesday delayed a vote on proposed regulations for retail-based clinics, and council members asked officials at the Massachusetts Department of Health to amend the regulations to address several concerns, according reports from the Boston Globe newspaper. They include requiring that nurse practitioners at retail clinics be trained to treat children and that patients be referred to their primary-care doctors for follow-up-care. Council members also are considering banning cigarette sales at stores with clinics.
MinuteClinic is seeking to open 30 to 50 CVS-based locations in Massachusetts over the next three years, according to Michael Howe, chief executive officer of MinuteClinic. The chain has drawn heat from several state medical associations for requesting that the health department grant a variety of waivers on clinic facility standards. -- by Shawn Rhea