First MinuteClinic locations set to open in Massachusetts

BOSTON CVS Caremark has confirmed that its MinuteClinic business in about a month will open the state’s first retail-based convenient care clinics.

The clinics will open in the Medway and Tewksbury locations. The company has applied for licenses in 26 additional locations, with plans to open as many as 100 clinics across the state.

Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems in June confirmed plans to launch multiple clinics in the Boston-metro area through a phased approach beginning this fall.

“Take Care Health Systems is looking forward to launching Take Care Health Clinics in the Boston-area this fall. We’ll open multiple clinics, located at Walgreens drugstores, through a phased approach this year. Access to care is a paramount issue in the United States, and Massachusetts is no different. Take Care Health Clinics offer access to high-quality, convenient and affordable healthcare. We’re excited to bring our model of patient-first care to the people of Massachusetts,” the company said in a prepared statement issued in June.

In January, the convenient care industry celebrated a victory in Massachusetts as state health officials approved regulations allowing for limited service medical clinics, marking the end of a long review process that included two public hearings and the submission of hundreds of pages of testimony regarding the regulations.

Sparking the move to create specialized regulations: CVS’ application to open a MinuteClinic in one of its stores in Weymouth.

According to the state Public Health Council, early in the application review process it became clear that Department of Public Health regulations governing medical clinics did not address the operation of medical clinics with limited scope of services. Rather than consider applications requiring numerous waivers from full-service clinic regulations, the department decided to create a specialized set of rules.

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