CVS’ MinuteClinic teams with VA to expand health care access for veterans


PHOENIX — MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, is joining forces with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Phoenix VA Health Care System and TriWest Healthcare Alliance for an initiative that will expand access to high quality and convenient health care services for veterans in Phoenix and surrounding communities.

Through this initiative, Phoenix VA Health Care System nurses will be able to refer veterans to MinuteClinic for the treatment of minor illnesses and injuries through the Veterans Choice Program when clinically appropriate.

“We believe in the MinuteClinic model of care and are excited to offer our health care services as one potential solution for the Phoenix VA Health Care System and its patients with minor illnesses and injuries,” said CVS MinuteClinic Chief Medical Officer, Tobias Barker, M.D. “We’re looking forward to working with the Phoenix VA Health Care System team to ensure that their patients have additional options for high-quality acute care at times and locations that are convenient for them.

On Tuesday, Sen. John McCain will join representatives from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Phoenix VA Health Care System, and CVS Health/MinuteClinic to announce the program at a CVS MinuteClinic in Tempe, Ariz.

“This new public-private collaboration between CVS, TriWest and the VA is an important step forward in enhancing choice and flexibility in Veterans’ health care,” McCain said. “I’ve 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. 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.”

According to CVS, to facilitate care coordination, the partnership will share electronic health information in the same manner that proved successful in a similar program launched in 2016 with the Palo Alto VA Health Care System. MinuteClinic visit summaries will be sent to a veteran’s VA primary care physician. This ensures the VA physician has the clinical information necessary for follow-up services in the VA, if appropriate.

“Ou No. 1 priority is getting veterans access to care when and where they need it. The launch of this partnership will enable VA to provide more care for Veterans in their neighborhoods,” said Dr. Baligh Yehia, the deputy undersecretary for health for community care.

This sentiment is echoed by TriWest, one of VA’s partners in administering the Veterans Choice Program. President and CEO of TriWest, David J. McIntyre, Jr. said: “TriWest values greatly the partnership with community providers who share our commitment to providing Veterans timely, high quality, and convenient health care.”

Added Dr. Maureen McCarthy, Phoenix VA Health Care System chief of staff: “We are thrilled to have this new partnership for Phoenix area Veterans. Increasing access and availability of care is crucial. In sending Veterans out into the community, however, we are always conscious of providing the best care coordination we can. We are working to leverage technology to share important clinical information and ensure care continuity.”


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