Take Care Health Systems to provide greater year-round services

In a week where too much was made of MinuteClinic’s seasonal closings, Take Care Health Systems’ announcement that it will focus on providing greater year-round services is not only a nod to the strong future of the clinic model and its further expansion, but also its expanded role in healthcare reform.

It also should be noted that Take Care Health continues to open up clinics at a very "Walgreens-like" clip; in fact, new clinic openings are announced nearly every day.

Take Care Health wasn’t alone in its endeavors, as The Little Clinic also announced during the week that each month it will focus on specific health observances (i.e. National Nutrition Month in March) and will offer related free health screenings and assessments throughout the year.

As far as MinuteClinic, Drug Store News’ perspective is that CVS Caremark executives MinuteClinic will look to redeploy those resources in other, new locations where a full-time clinic business makes more sense (either convenient care or worksite-based clinics), even as it continues to operate seasonally (read: cold/flu season) in the affected locations.

Similarly, it appears that MinuteClinic will look to expand its service offerings as well. In CVS Caremark’s most recent quarterly conference call in late February, Tom Ryan, chairman, president and CEO of CVS Caremark, told analysts that a major focus is to expand its MinuteClinic service offerings to “extend relevance.”

“Payers recognize that our clinics provide high quality, cost effective care so we’re forming strategic partnerships that offer health and wellness services, chronic disease screenings and monitoring, and incentives that divert members from using the emergency room to using MinuteClinic for common ailments,” Ryan told analysts.

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