Take Care plans to open retail clinics in Massachusetts

BOSTON Months after the convenient care industry celebrated a victory in Massachusetts, as state health officials approved regulations allowing for limited-service medical clinics—a move sparked by CVS’ application to open MinuteClinics in the state—Take Care Health Systems has confirmed plans to also open retail-based clinics in Massachusetts.

According to Take Care Health Systems spokeswoman Lauren Tierney, the Walgreens-owned clinic operator plans to enter the Boston metro area this year; however, it has not yet disclosed timing or location details.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, Take Care plans to have more than 400 clinics within Walgreens stores by the end of 2008. Take Care currently operates more than 150 in-store clinics.

In January, 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 oftestimony 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 clinicswith 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.

MinuteClinic has since stated that it plans to operate about 120 in-store clinics across the state over the next few years.

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