WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 1, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --MinuteClinic, the largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States, has introduced a series of convenient health condition monitoring services to help patients previously diagnosed with diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol and high blood pressure overcome the challenges of living with their conditions. Health condition monitoring is available at MinuteClinic locations in CVS/pharmacy stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia. MinuteClinic is the retail health care division of CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS).
The new monitoring services, called Monitoring Made Easy(TM), are performed by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They are designed to support patients with ongoing health conditions in between visits to their primary care provider or to provide assistance to patients who may not receive regular care.
MinuteClinic will send all health care monitoring results to a primary care provider with patient permission. Visit summaries are sent via electronic medical record or fax, typically within 24 hours. In addition, MinuteClinic practitioners will help patients locate a primary care provider in the community if they do not have one. A collaborating physician (medical director) is on call during MinuteClinic operating hours.
"There are millions of Americans who are overwhelmed by the difficulties associated with caring for their diabetes, asthma, high cholesterol and high blood pressure," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., President, MinuteClinic and Senior Vice President/Associate Chief Medical Officer, 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."
Monitoring Made Easy services at MinuteClinic are available seven days a week, including weekday evening hours; no appointment is necessary.
When providing health condition monitoring services, MinuteClinic practitioners review the individual's medical history and perform an exam and tests based on nationally established clinical practice guidelines for standards of care, which may include an A1c test and comprehensive foot exam for diabetes, breathing and oxygen level testing for asthma, a lipid profile for high cholesterol and a blood pressure check and microalbumin test for high blood pressure.
"We know from our own research and from independent studies conducted by the Rand Corporation, that as many as 60 percent of patients visiting our clinics are without a primary care provider," said Sussman. "So our practitioners are 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."
Most health insurance plans cover MinuteClinic health condition monitoring services. Patients are advised to contact their insurance company to verify coverage prior to their visit. Self-pay visits start at $62. Patients are informed of additional lab charges at the time of visit.
A series of blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and weight evaluation screening services are also provided by MinuteClinic to patients who have not been previously diagnosed with a condition but want to determine if they are at-risk.
In addition to offering monitoring and screening services, MinuteClinic practitioners are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumovax, and Hepatitis A & B are available at all locations.
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail health care centers in the United States in 2000 and is the first provider to establish a national presence, with approximately 500 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than six million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. A recognized leader in the patient-centric health care movement, MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics. MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.