MinuteClinic Partners with Palo Alto VA to Provide Prompt Care for Veterans

May 26th 2016
Katie Eder, Director of Content

MinuteClinic is partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System to expand access to high-quality and convenient health care services for veterans in Northern California.

MinuteClinic is partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System to expand access to high-quality and convenient health care services for veterans in Northern California.

Through this first-of-its-kind initiative, more than 65,000 veterans enrolled in the Palo Alto VA health system can now be referred to 1 of 14 MinuteClinic locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento for acute health services. Those care services will be free for veterans, and the VA will reimburse CVS for their treatment and medications.

“Through this arrangement, MinuteClinic and the Palo Alto VA will join forces to provide Veterans in Northern California with additional options for high quality clinical services,” stated Andrew Sussman, MD, president of MinuteClinic and executive vice president and associate chief medical officer of CVS Health. “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.”

Participating locations include:

· 1871 El Camino Real, Burlingame, CA

· 576 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

· 2514 Berryessa Road, San Jose, CA

· 2700 Homestead Road, Santa Clara, CA

· 2630 W El Camino Real, Mountain View, CA

· 1720 S Bascom Avenue, Campbell, CA

· 987 E Hillsdale Boulevard, Foster City, CA

· 10455 S De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino, CA

· 2455 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, San Ramon, CA

· 1350 Florin Road, Sacramento, CA

· 5040 Laguna Boulevard, Elk Grove, CA

· 650 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Danville, CA

· 738 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek, CA

· 8101 Greenback Lane, Fair Oaks, CA

Those MinuteClinics are all located near the facilities that comprise the Palo Alto VA health system, which include 3 inpatient facilities located at Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Livermore, plus 7 outpatient clinics in San Jose, Fremont, Capitola, Monterey, Stockton, Modesto, and Sonora.

“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,” stated Stephen Ezeji-Okoye, MD, deputy chief of staff for the Palo Alto VA. “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.”

To ensure consistency of care for veterans treated through this arrangement, the Palo Alto VA will share electronic medical records with participating MinuteClinic locations. With patient consent, MinuteClinic will electronically send veterans’ visit summaries to their primary care physician at the VA. If more comprehensive care is needed, veterans will be directed to follow up with their VA primary care provider for additional services as appropriate.

“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,” Dr. Sussman added.

This collaboration comes amid struggles with long wait times for veterans nationwide who are in need of urgent care,Kaiser Health Newsreported. The Palo Alto VA fares better than others in providing timely care, but its facilities were so hectic in the past year that roughly 11% of appointments system-wide—including those requiring urgent care—were scheduled more than a month out, according to VA data.

Dr. Ezeji-Okoye toldKaiser Health Newsthat he expects 10 to 15 of the estimated 150 veterans who call the Palo Alto VA’s Nurse Helpline (1-800-445-0057) daily will be treated at participating MinuteClinics on any given day.

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