MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark Corp.'s retail health clinic subsidiary, has entered a a clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners to enhance health care services to patients throughout the Chicago area and central Illinois.


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Retail News Breaks

CVS' MinuteClinic allies with Chicago-area health system

April 8th, 2011

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – MinuteClinic, CVS Caremark Corp.'s retail health clinic subsidiary, has entered a a clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners to enhance health care services to patients throughout the Chicago area and central Illinois.

Under the agreement, doctors affiliated with Advocate Physician Partners will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic's 23 locations in the Chicago metropolitan area and in Bloomington, Ill., MinuteClinic said Thursday.

The arrangement is the largest clinical collaboration between a regional health system and MinuteClinic based on number of in-store clinic locations, according to the companies.

Also through the alliance, MinuteClinic and Advocate Health Care will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and inform patients of the services each offers. Advocate Physician Partners physicians also can accept patients who need a higher level of care than MinuteClinic can provide. Signage at MinuteClinic sites will inform patients that each location has a clinical affiliation with Advocate.

"Chicagoland is one of MinuteClinic's largest markets, so it was important for us to develop a clinical affiliation with a system like Advocate that delivers high quality services throughout the region and overlaps with the vast majority of our clinic sites," Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "Advocate's progressive approach to health care reform and its national leadership in developing new models for clinical care was an important factor in our decision to affiliate with them and work jointly to promote more convenient and accessible solutions for receiving care in the Chicago area."

MinuteClinic medical clinics in Illinois are open seven days a week, including weekday evening hours, and are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common ailments and administer wellness and prevention services and health screenings.

Plans call for MinuteClinic and Advocate to integrate their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around individuals' care. With patient permission, each MinuteClinic will share medical history and visit summaries with other Advocate and MinuteClinic locations in the region.

"We look forward to collaborating with MinuteClinic on creative ways to improve outcomes for our patients with chronic conditions," stated Lee Sacks, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Oak Brook, Ill.-based Advocate. "This partnership allows Advocate physicians to provide a medical home for the many patients who seek care at MinuteClinic and do not have a relationship with a physician. It also aligns with AdvocateCare, our new transformational approach to health care delivery, which provides better coordination and transitions for our patients."

Advocate Health Care is the largest, fully integrated health care system in Illinois with more than 250 sites of care, including 12 hospitals and seven trauma centers.

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