MinuteClinic, Carolinas HealthCare System ink clinical collaboration

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic has entered a clinical affiliation with Carolinas HealthCare System, which provides medical services at more than 650 care locations in North and South Carolina. The collaboration includes 16 MinuteClinic locations in the greater Charlotte area.

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

"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," stated Michael Tarwater, CEO of CHS.

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.

"Carolinas HealthCare System consistently demonstrates an outstanding commitment to clinical quality and shares our mission of making medical care more accessible and convenient," added Andrew Sussman, president and SVP/associate chief medical officer of MinuteClinic. "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."