Nearly 1,500 Phoenix-area veterans have received timely and convenient health care services at 25 MinuteClinic locations in Arizona since CVS Health entered into a partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Phoenix VA Health Care System (VAHCS), and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. The pilot program, launched in April 2017, allows Phoenix VAHCS nurses to refer veterans to MinuteClinic for the treatment of certain minor conditions when clinically appropriate.
Program Provides Choice & Flexibility in Treatment
The partnership enables Phoenix VAHCS nurses to connect veterans to MinuteClinic for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries, when clinically appropriate, through the Veterans Choice Program. According to Phoenix VA Health Care System Director RimaAnn Nelson, the program provides veterans with certain minor health care needs additional choice and flexibility while also improving access for veterans with more serious conditions that require a higher level of care in the Phoenix VAHCS emergency department.
Arizona Senator John McCain, a veteran and long-time advocate for expanding veterans’ access to health care, has expressed support for the pilot program since it launched last year. “No veteran should have to wait in line for a routine appointment at a VA facility when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic,” Senator McCain said. “I look forward to seeing this program successfully serve more veterans and will continue working to replicate this initiative nationwide.”
Partnership Earns Praise Among Veterans
MinuteClinic offers veterans access to care seven days per week and no appointment is necessary. MinuteClinic health care providers are experienced in the delivery of common vaccines, treatment of minor wounds, and in the diagnosis and treatment of common health conditions such as strep throat; ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; and heartburn and indigestion. In the first year of the program, the average wait time for veterans to see a health care provider at a MinuteClinic was approximately 30 minutes.
There are currently 25 Phoenix-area MinuteClinic locations participating in the Phoenix VA program.