WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp.’s MinuteClinic division has introduced several health condition monitoring services aimed at patients with a variety of chronic conditions.
Offered at MinuteClinic retail health clinic locations in CVS/pharmacy stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia, the new monitoring services — dubbed Monitoring Made Easy and aimed at patients with such ongoing health conditions as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and asthma— are performed by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
A spokesman explains that the services are designed to support patients between visits to their primary care provider or to provide assistance to patients who may not receive regular care.
With a patient’s permission, MinuteClinic will send all health care monitoring results to a primary care provider. Visit summaries are sent via electronic medical record or fax, typically within 24 hours.
In addition, the spokesman explains, MinuteClinic practitioners can help patients find a primary care provider in their community.
“There are millions of Americans who are overwhelmed by the difficulties associated with caring for their diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. “These patients must navigate the health care system on their own and often face enormous time and cost commitments that can sometimes keep them from getting the care they need.
“By providing health condition monitoring at MinuteClinic, our goal is to be a convenient and affordable resource where patients can not only receive an exam and regular lab tests, but also spend meaningful time with a practitioner to obtain advice and have questions about their condition and medication answered,” he says.
Sussman notes that recent CVS Caremark research and data from a variety of independent studies shows that as many as 60% of patients visiting retail clinics do not have a primary care provider.
“Our practitioners are therefore in a unique position to help patients identify a primary care provider and create a path of care that includes monitoring at MinuteClinic to stay on top of their condition,” he says.