WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MinuteClinic, the largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States, has expanded its suite of accessible and affordable health care services to include Vitamin B-12 injections and the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination (GARDASIL®).
"There is an increasing medical need for patients to gain more convenient access to B-12 injections and HPV vaccinations," said Nancy Gagliano, M.D., MinuteClinic chief medical officer. "By making it easy to obtain these services in our retail locations with no appointment necessary, we hope to help seniors and other patients who have B-12 deficiency and also young women and men who want to lower their risk for serious disease caused by HPV.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in 31 adults over the age of 51 are B-12 deficient. The vitamin plays an important role in the normal function of the brain and nervous system, and in the formation of red blood cells. Patients with low B-12 levels may feel tired and weak due to a lack of red blood cells carrying oxygen to the brain. Injections are given to raise B-12 levels.
Patients receiving B-12 injections at MinuteClinic must be over 18 years old and present a prescription for the injections or have a prescription on file with the pharmacy. The cost for each injection is $21. Patients should check with their health care insurer before visiting MinuteClinic. Many insurers provide coverage for B-12 injections.
HPV immunization joins a suite of vaccinations offered by MinuteClinic for illnesses such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and Hepatitis A & B. It helps to protect against four types of HPV, including two types that cause 75 percent of all cervical cancer cases in women ages nine to 26. The CDC recommends the HPV vaccination for females in this age group. More than 12,200 new cases of cervical cancer were found in 2010 in the United States and 4,210 deaths occurred according to the National Cancer Institute.
The vaccine also protects against two types of HPV known to cause 90 percent of genital wart cases in both women and men in the nine to 26 age range. It protects against 70 percent of vaginal cancer cases and 70 percent of vulvar cancer cases among girls and young women.
The HPV vaccine, which requires follow up injections at two and six months, is offered by MinuteClinic to female and male patients who are over 9 years old and under 26. The cost is $208 per injection. Many health care insurers provide coverage for HPV vaccinations. Patients are advised to check with their insurer before visiting MinuteClinic.
B-12 shots and HPV vaccinations are administered by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants seven days a week, including weekday evening hours, with no appointment necessary in 25 states and the District of Columbia (services not available in Massachusetts). For more information, go to www.minuteclinic.com
MinuteClinic practitioners specialize in family medicine and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses, such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations for influenza, tetanus, pneumonia, and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports and college physicals are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help patients identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Practitioners use a software program that at the conclusion of each visit generates educational material, an invoice and a prescription (when clinically appropriate) for the patient, as well as a diagnostic record that can be sent via electronic health record, fax or mail to a primary care provider with patient permission.
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic is the largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States with approximately 500 locations in 26 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than nine million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics. MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.