WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today it has entered into new clinical affiliations with three leading regional health systems to enhance access to high-quality, affordable health care services for patients. The collaborating health systems include Baptist Health System in Alabama; Community Health Systems (CHS) affiliated hospitals which include Commonwealth Health in Pennsylvania, Northwest Medical Center, including Oro Valley Hospital in Arizona, and Tennova Healthcare in Tennessee; and Premier Health in Ohio. Through these clinical affiliations the patients served by these health systems 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 of CVS Health. In addition, CVS Health will provide critical prescription and visit information to the participating health systems 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 more than 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 regional health systems 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 health systems 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 health systems 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 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 health systems will begin to work toward integrating EMR systems to streamline and enhance communication. This integration will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health systems' physicians regarding medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share patient visit summaries with the patient's primary care physician when they are part of a health system affiliate and with the patient's consent. MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with one of these participating health systems via fax or mail, 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 more than 40 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