CVS Caremark's MinuteClinic Starts Operations in Sacramento - Analyst Blog

Rhode Island-based integrated pharmacy healthcare services provider CVS Caremark Corporation ( CVS ) recently inaugurated its first MinuteClinic walk-in clinics in the Sacramento metropolitan area in California.

The two clinics were opened inside the premises of two CVS/pharmacy stores - one in 1350 Florin Rd, Sacramento and one in 5740 Laguna Blvd, Elk Grove. The company plans to open a third walk-in clinic in 8101 Greenback Ln, Fair Oaks in Oct 2014.

The MinuteClinic walk-in clinics in Sacramento operate from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday; 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday; and 9:00 am to 5:30 pm on Sunday.

CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Caremark, is a leading retail pharmacy in the U.S., constituting more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy and Long Drug stores. This division provides expert and easily accessible health care services, both in store and in the online format.

Minutes of MinuteClinic

MinuteClinic is the retail medical clinic division of CVS Caremark and is the fastest growing provider of walk-in retail medical clinic services in the U.S. MinuteClinic launched the first retail medical clinics in the U.S. in 2000 and now has more than 850 locations in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

MinuteClinics are staffed with specialized nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Patients can arrive at these clinics without any prior appointment. Moreover, patients who visit these clinics without a primary care provider are offered a list of physicians who accept new patients. The cost of most services start from $79.

Healthcare providers herein are capable of identifying and treating common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are also treated at these clinics. In addition, common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations.

Moreover, MinuteClinics also provide Tdap boosters required for 7th graders in California and Meningitis and Hepatitis B immunizations for incoming college freshmen. Walk-in camp, sports and college physicals are available on a daily basis.

Additionally, MinuteClinic conducts a series of wellness services, which help patients recognize the lifestyle changes they require to improve their current and future health. Such changes incorporate screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Practitioners at these technologically advanced clinics, apart from providing better patient care, can also generate educational material and patient prescription using a software program. Also, subject to a patient's permission, MinuteClinic can send the patient's diagnostic record through electronic health record, fax or email to his/her personal physician.

Present Scenario

With the new clinic openings, there are more than 50 MinuteClinic locations at present in California, spanning San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County/Inland Empire and Bay Area markets. The first of these clinics was opened in Southern California in 2007.

Per reliable sources, inclusion of these new clinics in the Sacramento market will expand existence of MinuteClinic presence in Northern California following the Bay Area launch in fall 2013. Health issues in California like the shortage of primary care physicians, the aging Baby Boomer population and the influx of newly insured patients through the Affordable Care Act are profound. Consequently, the demand for MinuteClinic services is expected to increase manifold in the near term.

Zacks Rank

Currently CVS Caremark carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical sector include Alphatec Holdings, Inc. ( ATEC ), RTI Surgical Inc. ( RTIX ) and Bacterin International Holdings, Inc. ( BONE ). While Alphatec and RTI Surgical sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) each, Bacterin holds 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 Nasdaq, Inc.

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

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