WOONSOCKET, R.I. — After CVS Caremark was given the green light to open MinuteClinics in Rhode Island — with imposed conditions — the state’s Department of Health has now revised its ruling and dropped some key conditions.
“We are pleased that the Rhode Island Department of Health has approved the application of MinuteClinic to open seven retail clinics in Rhode Island, and we are appreciative of the diligence of all of the parties that have been involved in the review of our application. We have accepted the conditions related to the amended decision and look forward to opening clinics in Rhode Island later this year,” said company spokesman Mike DeAngelis in a statement sent to Drug Store News.
As previously reported, health director Michael Fine approved plans to open retail clinics in the state, but did impose 22 conditions intended to address physician concerns that such clinics could fragment care and interfere with the physician-patient relationship. However, Fine did note that there is no evidence of such damage elsewhere in the country, and he acknowledged that demand demonstrates a need by patients.
That ruling has now been revised to eliminate specifics about the amount of free care the clinic operator needs to provide to the poor and no longer limits the type of health problems that the clinics can address, the Providence Journal reported. The revision also drops a provision intended to encourage CVS Caremark to establish MinuteClinics in areas where it can be difficult to find a family doctor.