WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) announced today it has entered into a new clinical affiliation with MedStar Health, a leading health care system with ten hospitals in Maryland and the Washington, DC, region, which will enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients. Through this clinical affiliation, MedStar Health patients will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark. In addition, CVS Caremark will provide critical prescription and visit information to the affiliated health care providers through the integration of secured electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
CVS/pharmacy currently has about 7,700 retail pharmacy locations across the U.S. where CVS pharmacists provide counseling to patients to help them be adherent to their chronic disease medications. Of the total retail pharmacy locations, more than 860 MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics are available. MinuteClinic locations are open seven days a week, offering evening hours with no appointment necessary and most health insurance is accepted. The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common family illnesses and administer wellness and prevention services, including health-condition monitoring for patients with chronic diseases.
"We look forward to working with MedStar Health to develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "Through this clinical affiliation, we will also be integrating our electronic medical records and information systems to enable us to support patients with medication counseling and chronic disease monitoring."
The participating health care providers will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation also encourages collaboration between the health care providers and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations. Affiliated physicians will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to work closely on joint clinical programs and care coordination activities. If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the health care provider as appropriate. For those patients who do not have regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides assistance in finding a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of health care services.
"Finding cost-effective ways to increase access to care continues to be important, especially in this era of health care reform, and we are pleased to work together with health care providers to help coordinate comprehensive care for their patients," said Dr. Brennan. "Many patients rely on their local pharmacist for information and support regarding their prescription medications and these types of affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated health care providers' patient health outcomes through better medication adherence. MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in medical care."
MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and MedStar Health will begin to work toward integrating EMR systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual patient's care. This integration will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to MedStar Health physicians regarding potential medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patient's primary care provider at MedStar Health. MinuteClinic will also continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with a participating health care provider via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent.
The new clinical affiliation announced here brings the total number of health system and health care provider affiliations for CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic to 41 major health systems and health care providers across the country. This new affiliation includes clinical collaborations with MinuteClinic combined with data on interventions performed by CVS pharmacists.
About CVS Caremark CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,700 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving nearly 65 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 860 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com.
SOURCE CVS Caremark