Reflecting new approaches emerging in today's changing health care landscape, CVS Caremark Corp. has formed clinical affiliations with four major regional health systems in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Georgia.

CVS Caremark, clinical affiliations, CVS/pharmacy, MinuteClinic, CVS pharmacists, Hartford HealthCare, Lahey Health, Baystate Health, Memorial Health, Troy Brennan, health care, clinical collaborations, medication adherence, walk-in medical clinic, drug store, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring, wellness programs, electronic medical record, EMR

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CVS, MinuteClinic affiliate with four regional health systems

May 15th, 2014

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Reflecting new approaches emerging in today's changing health care landscape, CVS Caremark Corp. has formed clinical affiliations with four major regional health systems in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Georgia.

CVS said Thursday that the new affiliations are the first to include clinical collaborations with its MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics combined with data on interventions performed by CVS pharmacists.

The health system affiliations include Hartford HealthCare in Connecticut, Lahey Health and Baystate Health in Massachusetts and Memorial Health in Georgia.

Through the collaborations, the health systems' patients will get 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 via 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 also 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 encourages collaboration between the health systems and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations. Doctors 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 health system as appropriate. For patients without regular access to health care, MinuteClinic can assist them in finding a primary care doctor.

Plans call for MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and the health systems to start integrating EMR systems to streamline communication around each patient's care. The integration 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.

"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 systems to help coordinate comprehensive care for their patients," Brennan added. "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 systems' patients' 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."

With the four new affiliations, CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic now have a total of 36 collaborations with major health systems nationwide. Overall, CVS/pharmacy has more than 7,600 stores across the country and MinuteClinic has over 800 locations in 28 states and the District of Columbia.