WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New data from CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) demonstrates the excellent quality of care delivered at MinuteClinic retail medical clinics for three common acute conditions ear infections, strep throat and urinary tract infections. Results on these measures suggest that care is the same, and in some cases better, than care delivered at Emergency Departments (EDs) and ambulatory care facilities. Researchers from CVS Health Research Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital published these findings today in the October issue of The American Journal of Managed Care.
This study of 75,000 patients based on data from a major insurer is the largest to date evaluating the quality of care for acute conditions at retail clinics as compared with other care settings. Quality of care was assessed using 14 measures constructed from RAND Corporation's Quality Assurance Tools as well as guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Family Practitioners and the Infectious Disease Society of America.
"As we all work to manage rising costs while dealing with a shortage of primary care physicians, identifying high quality health care delivery systems that provide convenient access to affordable care is increasingly important," said William Shrank, M.D., chief scientific officer, CVS Health. "This study is the largest to date evaluating the quality of care for acute conditions at retail clinics such as MinuteClinic, and the findings are consistent with previous research in suggesting that care at retail clinics for common acute conditions is the same or better than the care delivered in more costly EDs and urgent care facilities."
When taken together with evidence that retail clinics are most cost effective and even cost-saving to patients, these results underscore the promise of retail clinics in offering care of high quality at lower cost than other settings. It also points to the potential role of retail clinics in improving care coordination for chronic disease management and population health management.
"MinuteClinic has long been focused on providing accessible, high quality, affordable health care that is complimentary and supportive of the primary care provider," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., President, CVS/minuteclinic, and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Health. "This data reiterates the high level of quality care provided by our MinuteClinic practitioners and suggests the important role our clinics can play in the rapidly evolving health care landscape."
As a health care provider, MinuteClinic is focused on delivering high quality, accessible care for common illnesses. MinuteClinic is committed to continuity of care, fully supports the physician-led medical home and believes that MinuteClinic can play a complementary role with primary care practices in providing care to patients. MinuteClinic is affiliated with more than 40 major health systems around the country to improve collaboration, integrate medical records and collaborate on chronic disease care.
MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions for common illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder, and bronchial infections.Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia, pertussis and hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports, college, DOT, and other administrative physicals are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help consumers identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.