- CVS Caremark announced Wednesday morning that it will enter into a clinical affiliation with the 10-hospital system MedStar Health, based in Washington, D.C. In addition to offering MedStar patients access to clinical support, medication counseling, disease monitoring and wellness programs at CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinics, the pharmacy retailer will also integrate its EMR system with MedStar's, providing prescription and visit information to the affiliated provider.
- The integrated EMR systems will share messages and alerts regarding potential medication non-adherence, medication histories and visit summaries. MinuteClinic will continue to send patient visit summaries directly to non-affiliated primary care providers with patient consent.
- This new affiliation brings the number of major health systems and care providers affiliated with CVS Caremark up to 41—over twice the number of Walgreens, who have 20 affiliations.
CVS Caremark's aggressive push for dominance in the retail healthcare space continues to escalate. The company, which operates 7,700 CVS/pharmacy stores and 860 MinuteClinics nationwide, has announced eight clinical collaborations (including MedStar) just since May. And it shows no signs of slowing: CVS CEO Larry Merlo told investors at UBS Global Healthcare Conference that the company expects to have a "footprint of about 1,500 clinics in at least 35 states by 27 teams" later this year.
"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," said CVS' chief medical officer Dr. Troyen Brennan. "MinuteClinic also plays an important role by providing patients with timely, affordable and high-quality walk-in medical care."