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CVS partners with campaign to drive primary care

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Goal is to better coordinate care between physicians, pharmacies, clinics

WASHINGTON — CVS Health is collaborating with the “Health is Primary” campaign of Family Medicine for America’s Health (FMAHealth) to spur coordination of care between primary care providers and retail pharmacies and clinics, including CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic.

MinuteClinic patient_Oct2014FMAHealth said Friday that through the initiative, Health is Primary and CVS Health will educate consumers about the “medical neighborhood” and how the different parts of the health care system — primary care, pharmacy, retail clinics, acute and post-acute care, diagnostic services, public health, and community and social services — play a role in keeping patients healthy.

“Patients should expect both convenient access as well as high-quality health care,” MinuteClinic president Andrew Sussman, who’s also executive vice president and associate chief medical officer of CVS Health, said in a statement. “We know that patient health and outcomes improve when patients utilize the resources available to them throughout the medical neighborhood and when providers across the health care system are working together. By partnering with primary care and family medicine, we will continue to improve provider collaboration and help ensure all patients have access to primary care within a coordinated medical neighborhood.”

The campaign will work with CVS Health to disseminate patient materials that provide a roadmap for understanding the various resources available through the medical neighborhood while helping them know when and where to access these services. In addition, the campaign will highlight models of collaboration that can help accelerate a shift to a primary care-based health care system.

“We cannot address the biggest health care problems in this country without a strong primary care foundation and true collaboration across the health care system,” stated FMAHealth president and chairman Glen Stream, M.D. “Patients need a regular source of care, and they need to know that — wherever they access care — they can be assured of a system that is coordinated and working together to keep them healthy. Across the country, CVS Health and its MinuteClinic are already working with primary care providers to strengthen the medical neighborhood. We want to elevate this model of collaboration to ensure that all patients understand and have access to continuous, coordinated care.”

A national, three-year campaign, Health is Primary aims to raise awareness of the role of primary care in the nation’s health care system and in delivering better health, better care and lower costs, according to FMAHealth. The campaign is visiting cities around the country to engage local stakeholders and showcase community-level interventions that are working to enhance and expand primary care and improve health. The campaign also coincides with a five-year strategic initiative to transform family medicine to meet the changing needs of the health care system.

FMAHealth is a collaboration of eight leading family medicine organizations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation, American Board of Family Medicine, American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, Association of Departments of Family Medicine, Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, North American Primary Care Research Group, and Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.


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