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Carolinas HealthCare System and MinuteClinic Enter Into Clinical Collaboration
Date:12/16/2011

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MinuteClinic, the retail healthcare division of CVS Caremark Corporation, and Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), which provides medical services at more than 650 care locations in North and South Carolina, have entered into a clinical collaboration that includes 16 MinuteClinic locations in the greater Charlotte area.

MinuteClinic is the largest provider of retail healthcare in the United States. The clinics provide seven-day-a-week walk-in access to healthcare services at select CVS/pharmacy stores.  Nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide care for common illnesses, injuries, skin conditions, as well as vaccinations and wellness services.

This is the first such arrangement in North Carolina for the two organizations.

Michael C. Tarwater, Chief Executive Officer of CHS, said, "We are very pleased to have a hand in building a more integrated, coordinated model of health care for our patients through innovative partnerships like this one. By providing medical directors for each of the 16 MinuteClinic locations in the Charlotte area, we're expanding access to convenient, high quality health care for people and linking them to more services if additional care is needed."

MinuteClinic is the first and only retail healthcare provider to receive accreditation and re-accreditation from The Joint Commission, the principal evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 healthcare organizations and programs throughout the United States.

"Carolinas HealthCare System consistently demonstrates an outstanding commitment to clinical quality and shares our mission of making medical care more accessible and convenient," said Andrew Sussman, MD, president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer. "Since opening our first clinics in the Carolinas in 2005, we have continued to grow, including the addition of two new clinics in the Charlotte area this year. This agreement will enhance our service capabilities in locations convenient to where patients live and work."

Under the agreement, CHS physicians will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic locations in the Charlotte area, In addition, MinuteClinic and CHS will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers. CHS will accept patients who need a level of care that is not provided at MinuteClinic. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with CHS.

Also, the two organizations will develop a system by which to share patient care data electronically. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending patient visit summaries to primary care providers via fax or mail.

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are licensed to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family 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 physical exams needed for adolescent camp or sports activities are available. 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.

No appointments are required at MinuteClinic and most health insurance is accepted. Clinics in the Carolinas are open Monday-to-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

About Carolinas HealthCare System

Carolinas HealthCare System (www.carolinashealthcare.org), one of the nation's leading and most innovative healthcare organizations, provides a full spectrum of healthcare and wellness programs throughout North and South Carolina. Its diverse network of more than 650 care locations includes academic medical centers, hospitals, healthcare pavilions, physician practices, destination centers, surgical and rehabilitation centers, home health agencies, nursing homes and hospice and palliative care. CHS works to improve and enhance the overall health and wellbeing of its communities through high quality patient care, education and research programs, and numerous collaborative partnerships and initiatives.

About MinuteClinic

MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the United States in 2000 and is the largest provider of retail clinics with more than 600 locations in 25 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than 10.5 million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating.  MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.


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