Inside This Issue - News
CVS enters first-of-kind alliances
June 2nd, 2014
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – In another sign of the expanding role of community pharmacists, CVS Caremark Corp. has formed clinical affiliations with four major regional health systems in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Georgia.
CVS says the new initiatives are the first to include clinical collaborations with its MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics combined with data on interventions by CVS pharmacists.
The affiliations are with Hartford HealthCare in Connecticut, Lahey Health and Baystate Health in Massachusetts, and Memorial Health in Georgia.
Through the collaborations, the health systems’ patients will receive access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy drug stores and MinuteClinics. CVS Caremark also will provide prescription and visit information to the health systems through the integration of secured electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
“We look forward to working with these health systems to develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health,” CVS Caremark chief medical officer Troy Brennan said in a statement. “Through these clinical affiliations, we will be integrating our electronic medical records and information systems to enable us to support patients with medication counseling and chronic disease monitoring.”
According to CVS, the four health systems will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients.
The affiliation also will encourage collaboration between the health systems and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations.
Physicians affiliated with the health systems will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners on joint clinical programs and care coordination activities. Should additional comprehensive care be required, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the health system. For patients without regular access to health care, MinuteClinic can assist them in finding a primary care doctor.
Under the arrangement, MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the health systems will integrate EMR systems to streamline communication around each patient’s care. The process will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to the health system doctors on potential medication nonadherence issues, CVS said. Also, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patients’ primary care providers when they are a member of a participating health system.
“Many patients rely on their pharmacist for information and support regarding prescription medications,” Brennan added. “These affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated systems’ patients’ health outcomes through better medication adherence.”