CVS MinuteClinic, VA Partnership to Improve Patient Access

April 21st 2017
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor
Lauren Santye, Assistant Editor

Veterans in Phoenix can now receive care for minor ailments at CVS retail clinics.

To help expand access and improve patient care, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has partnered with CVS Health to provide Phoenix-area veterans with the option to go to their local CVS MinuteClinic for minor ailments.

The partnership will establish electronic health information exchange between the 2 networks to ensure that providers can make the most informed decisions, according toHealthIT Analytics.

In addition, the agreement will make it easier for veterans to access care for these minor ailments. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, there are more than 530,000 veterans in the United States whowait 30 days or more to receive carefrom the Veterans Health Administration.

“It’s long believed that Veterans in need of routine health care services should not have to wait in line for weeks to get an appointment when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic to receive timely and convenient care,” said Sen John McCain (R-AZ). “Thanks to the leadership of CVS Health and the VA, Phoenix’s nearly 120,000 Veterans will now be served at 24 different area MinuteClinic locations for minor health care services.”

The services performed at the MinuteClinics will be covered by VA insurance. Veterans will just need to call the regional VA medical center to get a referral to one of the locations, according to CVS.

The program is based on a 2016 initiative in Palo Alto, CA, which allows veterans to receive referrals to CVS retail clinic locations.

“After patient consent, participating MinuteClinic locations will electronically send patient visit summaries to the patient’s primary care physician at the VA,” CVS said at the time as reported byHealthIT Analytics.

An Epic Systems electronic health record was selected by the company in 2014 to help support its retail clinics

“By allowing our electronic health records to communication 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,” said Andrew Sussman, MD, executive vice president and associate chief medical officer, CVS Health and President, MinuteClinic. “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.”

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