Applications Filed with Rhode Island Department of Health
Clinics to Support Growing Patient Demand for Care
Created By Primary Care Physician Shortage, Affordable Care Act
Woonsocket, R.I., November 1, 2013 – MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark Corporation and the largest provider of retail medical clinics in the United States, announced today that it has filed applications with the Rhode Island Department of Health to open several locations in its home state of Rhode Island in 2014. The proposed clinics will be inside select CVS/pharmacy stores in Woonsocket, Cranston, North Smithfield, East Greenwich, Providence, Wakefield and Westerly.
“We’re looking forward to bringing MinuteClinic to Rhode Island and increasing access to high quality, affordable care for Rhode Island residents,” said Andrew Sussman, M.D., MinuteClinic President and CVS Caremark Senior Vice President/Associate Chief Medical Officer. “With the nation-wide shortage of primary care providers, the addition of millions of newly insured patients through the Affordable Care Act and an aging Baby Boomer population, there is a significant and growing demand for care. MinuteClinic can help to meet that demand, collaborating with local provider groups, as part of a larger health care team.”
MinuteClinic will also be collaborating with the Rhode Island Free Clinic, providing care for free to its patients, as part of its overall commitment to provide access to affordable health care in RI. CVS Caremark already provides free medications for these patients at several CVS/pharmacy locations in Rhode Island.
“The support of MinuteClinic practitioners in providing care to our patients, especially during evening and weekend hours, will be a great complement to the care provided at Rhode Island Free Clinic,” said Marie Ghazal, Chief Executive Officer, Rhode Island Free Clinic. “Overall, MinuteClinic will also increase access to care for Rhode Islanders and help to reduce costs to the health care system in our state.”
MinuteClinic’s plans to open in Rhode Island are part of its national expansion initiative to open 150 clinics nationwide in 2014 with a goal of 1,500 clinics in 35 states by 2017. There are already dozens of MinuteClinic locations in New England, including over 40 clinics in Massachusetts.
Building on its established record for clinical quality, MinuteClinic is the first retail clinic provider to achieve three consecutive accreditation awards from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the U.S., including hospitals, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. MinuteClinic has a 95 percent customer satisfaction rate as measured by Press Ganey surveys, the industry’s recognized leader in health care patient satisfaction measurement.
The clinics are staffed by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners who specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions, when clinically appropriate, for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor abrasions, and skin conditions are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and hepatitis A & B are available. Patients must be at least 18 months old.
In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All visit information for MinuteClinic care is shared with the patient’s primary care physician with the patient’s consent. MinuteClinic is also exploring participation in CurrentCare, the Rhode Island health information exchange in order to fully integrate its clinical information with the records of local providers.
MinuteClinic practitioners use a software program that at the conclusion of each visit generates treatment instructions, educational material, 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. Patients who visit MinuteClinic who do not have a PCP are provided with a list of physicians in their area who are accepting new patients for follow-up and subsequent routine care.
Minute Clinic, which is physician-led, has entered into clinical collaborations with nearly 30 major health systems around the country, wherein the health system physicians may serve as collaborating physicians for MinuteClinic’s practitioners, and MinuteClinic and the health systems pursue joint clinical programs and electronic medical record integration.
“Nationally, about half of the patients we see do not have a physician,” Sussman said, “and more than half of MinuteClinic visits occur on evenings, weekends and holidays, when alternate appropriate sites of care are very limited.”
The walk-in medical clinics are open seven days a week with no appointment necessary. Most major health insurance is accepted, including commercial and governmental payers, such as Medicare. MinuteClinic will be pursuing participation in the state’s Medicaid program. For patients paying cash or credit, treatment prices are posted at each clinic and on www.minuteclinic.com. The cost for most services starts at $79.
MinuteClinic is submitting initial licensure applications seeking approval to operate seven Organized Ambulatory Care Facilities in the following Rhode Island locations inside CVS/pharmacy locations:
- 1054 Cass Avenue, Woonsocket
- 681 Reservoir Avenue, Cranston
- 120 Eddie Dowling Highway, North Smithfield
- 1285 S. County Trail, East Greenwich
- 799 Hope Street, Providence
- 11 Main Street, Wakefield
- 151 Franklin Street, Westerly
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 750 locations in 27 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 17 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic is the only retail health care provider to receive three consecutive accreditations from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.