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MinuteClinic partners with VA in Northern Calif.

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — MinuteClinic aims to expand health care access for military veterans in Northern California via an affiliation with the Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VA Palo Alto HCS).

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Veterans can be referred to one of 14 MinuteClinics in the area.

The retail clinic operator said that through the initiative — which parent company CVS Health called a first of its kind — more than 60,000 veterans enrolled in the VA Palo Alto HCS can now be referred to MinuteClinic for acute health services.

Veterans calling the VA Palo Alto’s Nurse Helpline (1-800-445-0057) can be referred to one of 14 MinuteClinic locations in the area. Those who receive a prescription during a MinuteClinic visit will be able to fill it at a CVS Pharmacy.

“We are pleased to announce this new initiative with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Through this arrangement, MinuteClinic and the VA Palo Alto will join forces to provide veterans in Northern California with additional options for high-quality clinical services,” MinuteClinic president Andrew Sussman said in a statement.

“We’re committed to providing top-notch care to the area’s veterans, and this relationship will allow us to do so in locations and at times that are convenient for the VA’s patients,” added Sussman, who’s also executive vice president and associate chief medical officer at CVS Health.

The VA Palo Alto HCS includes three inpatient facilities in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Livermore, along with seven outpatient clinics in San Jose, Fremont, Capitola, Monterey, Stockton, Modesto and Sonora.

“This program reaffirms our commitment to access through innovation and flexible health care delivery,” stated Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, deputy chief of staff for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. “The diverse geography of our veteran population requires us to think about access as providing the right care at the right place at the right time, as defined by the veteran. We are particularly excited about working with MinuteClinic because they share our commitment to high-quality care and our belief in meeting veterans needs as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

As in its other health system affiliations, MinuteClinic will employ an interconnected electronic medical record (EMR) system with the VA Palo Alto HCS. After receiving patients’ consent, participating MinuteClinics will electronically send visit summaries to the patient’s doctor at the VA. If more care is needed, veterans will be directed to follow up with their VA primary care provider for additional services.

“By allowing our electronic health records to communicate and share important clinical information, we’ll have a more comprehensive view of the veterans we collectively serve, which will enable important health care decision making and ensure continuity of care,” Sussman commented.

MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics participating in the VA Palo Alto HCS collaboration are located in Burlingame, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Campbell, Foster City, Cupertino, San Ramon, Sacramento, Elk Grove, Danville, Walnut Creek and Fair Oaks, Calif.


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