Ushering in a move toward more collaboration between Lahey Health primary care providers, CVS pharmacists and MinuteClinic personnel, CVS Caremark announced on Thursday it has entered into new clinical affiliations with Lahey Health and three other regional health systems along the East Coast.
The affiliation will allow Lahey Health patients to “receive access to clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease care management and wellness programs” at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic. The affiliation will also mean CVS will provide prescription and visit information to the health systems through an integrated and secured electronic medical record system.
“At Lahey Health, we are committed to finding innovative ways to deliver the highest quality, patient-centered care at a great value,” said Howard Grant, JD, MD, president and chief executive officer of Lahey Health. “Affiliating with CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic strengthens our ability to provide patients with convenient access points for coordinated primary care support, medication counseling and pharmacy services in the community setting where it belongs.”
There are more than 800 MinuteClinics spread across the CVS chain of stores. CVS will work to integrate EMR systems “to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual patient’s care.”
The EMR will include alerts from CVS to Lahey Health when there are possible issues with medication non-adherence. CVS will also share medical histories and visit summaries with primary care providers through the EMR system. Patients not part of the affiliation will still have their visit summaries sent to their providers via fax or mail within 24 hours with patient consent.
CVS and MinuteClinic now have affiliations with 36 major health systems across the U.S., but these new affiliations are the first “to include clinical collaborations with MinuteClinic combined with data on interventions performed by CVS pharmacists,” said CVS.
“We look forward to working with these health systems to develop collaborative programs that improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help people on their path to better health,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. “Through these clinical affiliations, we will also be integrating our electronic medical records and information systems to enable us to support patients with medication counseling and chronic disease management.”
Brennan said MinuteClinic helps provide affordable, timely walk-in health care.
“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 these health systems to help coordinate comprehensive care for their patients,” said Dr. Brennan. “Many patients rely on their local pharmacist for information and support regarding their prescription medications and these affiliations enable CVS pharmacists to help improve affiliated systems’ patients’ health outcomes through better medication adherence. MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in health care.”