WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has entered into a new clinical affiliation with MedStar Health, a healthcare system with 10 hospitals in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region.
Through this clinical affiliation, MedStar Health patients will continue to have access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic. In addition, CVS Caremark will provide prescription and visit information to the affiliated healthcare providers through the integration of electronic medical record systems.
"We look forward to working with MedStar Health to develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health," stated Troyen Brennan, chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "Through this clinical affiliation, we will also be integrating our electronic medical records and information systems to enable us to support patients with medication counseling and chronic disease monitoring."
The participating healthcare providers will receive data on interventions conducted by CVS pharmacists to improve medication adherence for their patients. The affiliation also encourages collaboration between the healthcare providers and MinuteClinic providers to improve coordination of care for patients seen at MinuteClinic locations. Affiliated physicians will collaborate with MinuteClinic nurse practitioners to work closely on joint clinical programs and care-coordination activities. If more comprehensive care is needed, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to the services at the healthcare provider as appropriate. For those patients who do not have regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides assistance in finding a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of healthcare services.
"Finding cost-effective ways to increase access to care continues to be important, especially in this era of health care reform, and we are pleased to work together with health care providers to help coordinate comprehensive care for their patients," added Brennan. "Many patients rely on their local pharmacist for information and support regarding their prescription medications and these types of affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated health care providers' patient health outcomes through better medication adherence. MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in medical care."
MinuteClinic, CVS/pharmacy and MedStar Health will begin to work toward integrating EMR systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual patient's care. This integration will include the electronic sharing of messages and alerts from CVS/pharmacy to MedStar Health physicians regarding potential medication non-adherence issues. In addition, MinuteClinic will electronically share medical histories and visit summaries with the patient's primary care provider at MedStar Health. MinuteClinic will also continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers who are not affiliated with a participating health care provider via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours, with patient consent.
This new clinical affiliation brings the total number of health system and healthcare provider affiliations for CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic to 41 major health systems and healthcare providers across the country. This new affiliation includes clinical collaborations with MinuteClinic combined with data on interventions performed by CVS pharmacists, the company stated.