CVS Caremark Partners MedStar to Boost MinuteClinic Division - Analyst Blog


MinuteClinic, the retail healthcare business of CVS Caremark ( CVS ), got a major boost with the company's recent clinical collaboration with MedStar Health - a prominent health care system that works to provide high-quality, affordable health care services.

Per the deal, CVS/pharmacy stores and MinuteClinic will continue to provide clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs to MedStar Health patients. Additionally, electronic medical record (EMR) and information systems will be used by CVS Caremark for medication counseling and chronic disease monitoring services offered to the affiliated health care providers.

MedStar Health currently has ten hospitals in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region. According to CVS Caremark, this collaboration will improve patient outcomes, lower costs and help improve medication adherence for patients. For more comprehensive care, patients can follow up with their primary care provider and have access to services at the health care provider as they deem appropriate.

CVS/pharmacy currently has 7,700 retail pharmacy locations across the U.S. where CVS pharmacists provide counseling to patients for better adherence to chronic disease medications. Of the total retail pharmacy locations, more than 860 are MinuteClinic walk-in medical clinics. 

For patients with no regular access to health care, MinuteClinic provides assistance in looking for a primary care physician and a greater opportunity for continuity of health care services. With the latest clinical affiliation with MedStar, the total number of collaborations comes to 41 major health systems and health care providers across the country for CVS Caremark and MinuteClinic.

Over the past few quarters, CVS Caremark has been gaining from growth in its retail business. The company's ExtraCare loyalty program continues to remain a prime stimulus for over a decade. In the last reported quarter, the company witnessed massive improvement in the field of active ExtraCare card. Moreover, MinuteClinics posted impressive growth (up 24% year over year) with the addition of 32 new clinics in the quarter. The company targets more than 1,500 clinics through 2017.

Earlier, the company announced its shift to the Epic EMR, which will allow it to better integrate records with other hospital and provider groups. It will also enable MinuteClinic to respond more quickly to the needs of patients by accelerating the company's ability to offer new services.

Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some of the better-placed stocks in the broader Medical sector are Abaxis, Inc. ( ABAX ), Hologic Inc. ( HOLX ) and Amedisys Inc. ( AMED ), all carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: EMR , AMED , HOLX , ABAX , CVS

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