WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today it has entered into new clinical affiliations with three leading academic medical centers to enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients. The collaborating medical centers include the University of Maryland Medical System, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Health System. Through these clinical affiliations the patients served by these medical centers will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic division of CVS Health. In addition, CVS Health will provide critical prescription and visit information to the participating medical centers through the integration of secured electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
CVS/pharmacy currently has more than 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, there are 900 MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics 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 and physician assistants 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 these leading medical centers 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 Health. "Through these clinical affiliations, 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 health care providers at the participating medical centers 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. Physicians affiliated with the participating medical centers will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants 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 medical center 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 these 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 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 health care."
MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the participating medical centers 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 the medical centers' 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 when they are a member of a participating health care provider. MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with one of these participating medical centers via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent.
The new clinical affiliations announced here bring the total number of health system and health care provider affiliations for CVS Health and MinuteClinic to 44 major health systems and health care providers across the country.
About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.
SOURCE CVS Health