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MinuteClinic to provide free A1c tests
October 25th, 2010
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – MinuteClinic health clinics in select CVS/pharmacy stores are offering free A1c tests in recognition of American Diabetes Month in November.
The CVS Caremark Corp. in-store clinic subsidiary said Monday that the complimentary A1c tests, sponsored by Bayer Diabetes Care, will be provided through Nov. 25 while supplies last.
As part of the A1c test, MinuteClinic practitioners will check a patient's vital signs, review medical history and administer the blood test. Results are available within five minutes and are discussed with the patient. A visit summary that includes the A1c test results is made available to primary care providers with patient permission. Visit summaries are typically sent within 24 hours via electronic medical record, fax or mail.
"Our goal is provide convenient locations where the more than 24 million Americans with diabetes can walk in and see a practitioner to receive advice and basic testing to help them better monitor their condition," Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "The A1c test is the best measure available to assess a diabetic patient's immediate condition and determine whether any changes in treatment and lifestyle habits are needed.
"With more than 1.6 million new diabetics diagnosed each year, the need for providing more accessible options to help patients monitor their condition is critical," Sussman noted.
In addition to daily self-testing of glucose levels, it's recommended that diabetics receive regular A1c tests that measure their average blood glucose levels over a two- to three-month period, according to MinuteClinic. The American Diabetes Association advises that patients keep their A1c level below 7%.
MinuteClinic has about 500 locations in 26 states and the District of Columbia.