WOONSOCKET, R.I., and OAK BROOK, Ill. — CVS Caremark's retail-based clinic operator, MinuteClinic, has entered into a clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners to enhance the healthcare services provided to patients in communities throughout Chicagoland and central Illinois. The deal marks the largest clinical collaboration between a regional health system and MinuteClinic based on number of in-store clinic locations.
Under the agreement, physicians affiliated with Advocate Physician Partners will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic's 23 locations in the Chicago metro area and in Bloomington, Ill. In addition, MinuteClinic and Advocate Health Care will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers.
Where appropriate, Advocate Physician Partners physicians can accept patients who need a higher level of care than MinuteClinic can provide. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with Advocate.
MinuteClinic and Advocate will fully integrate their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual's care. With patient permission, each MinuteClinic will share medical history and visit summaries with other Advocate and MinuteClinic locations in the region. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending visit summaries via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.
"Chicagoland is one of MinuteClinic's largest markets, so it was important for us to develop a clinical affiliation with a system like Advocate that delivers high-quality services throughout the region and overlaps with the vast majority of our clinic sites," stated Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and SVP/associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "Advocate's progressive approach to healthcare reform and its national leadership in developing new models for clinical care was an important factor in our decision to affiliate with them and work jointly to promote more convenient and accessible solutions for receiving care in the Chicago area."
"We look forward to collaborating with MinuteClinic on creative ways to improve outcomes for our patients with chronic conditions," added Lee Sacks, EVP and chief medical officer at Advocate. "This partnership allows Advocate physicians to provide a medical home for the many patients who seek care at MinuteClinic and do not have a relationship with a physician. It also aligns with AdvocateCare, our new transformational approach to healthcare delivery, which provides better coordination and transitions for our patients."
Advocate Health Care is the largest, fully integrated healthcare system in Illinois with more than 250 sites of care, including 12 hospitals and seven trauma centers.