CVS, Alere forge clinical alliance

9/14/2009

WOONSOCKET, R.I. —CVS Caremark’s effort to evolve its clinical offerings to leverage MinuteClinic locations to provide wellness, prevention and chronic illness management has reached new heights through an alliance with Alere, a subsidiary of Inverness Medical Innovations that provides specialized health management services for medium- and high-risk patients and complex case management.

Through the alliance, chronically ill patients served by CVS Caremark’s Accordant Common disease management programs will be managed and have access to expanded offerings provided by Alere. In turn, Alere customers will gain access to direct service by MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and CVS pharmacists.

That means that nurse practitioners working within the 500 or so MinuteClinic locations will play an even greater role in the health and well-being of Alere patients. “As part of our agreement, Alere intends to add access to MinuteClinic nurses as one of its methods of increasing member and patient engagement, and making access to health care more convenient,” Tom Ryan, chairman, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, told analysts during the company’s second-quarter conference call on Aug. 4. “In turn, MinuteClinic will have access to extensive rapid diagnostic solutions offered by Inverness. Alere will provide our clients with access to an expanded suite of services.”

For example, if an Alere nurse identifies a patient with heart disease who is not taking medications as prescribed, the nurse will communicate that gap in care to a MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or a CVS retail pharmacist. When the patient needs a test at a clinic or is scheduled to pick up a prescription, they will be counseled to take action.

In addition, the two companies, in accordance with state and federal laws, can link data claims through shared technology to improve and promote disease management and medication adherence. “This strategic alliance creates a first in the health management space—a more direct connection for participants between proven health management programs and their trusted providers in CVS pharmacies,” stated Ron Geraty, CEO of Alere.

Alere’s programs provide interventions designed for the entire lifespan, addressing the continuum of health—from wellness and prevention for those at risk for illness, to disease management for the chronically ill.

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