CVS has more than 50 deals with hospitals nationwide. Is yours one of them?

Through affiliations, CVS shares data about pharmacy use, clinic visits

CVS Health this week signed two new hospital affiliations—with Rush University Medical Center and Tucson Medical Center—bringing the total number of CVS clinical affiliations to more than 50.

Through the clinical affiliations, CVS shares information about prescriptions and visits of assigned patients with the providers through an integrated electronic health record system. The pharmacy chain also provides access to medication counseling, clinical support, chronic disease management, and wellness programs.

Meet the new 'CVS Health'

For example, CVS provides participating health systems with quarterly reports that flag patients who did not fill their prescriptions. "In that case the physician may want to reach out to that patient. There is always a possibility the prescription was filled at another pharmacy, but they could ask the question," says Susan Willis, the executive director of network development at Tucson Medical Center.

Although many retailers have embraced basic primary care, the CVS clinical partnerships are unique in pairing pharmacy data services and access to walk-in consults with hospital systems, according to Healthcare Finances News.

"In this era of health care reform, we are pleased to work with these health care providers to develop collaborative programs that enhance access to patient care, improve health outcomes, and lower health care costs in the communities they serve," says CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen Brennan.

Brennan adds, "By integrating our electronic health records and information systems, we will collectively have a more comprehensive view of our patients, which can aid in health care decision making and help ensure patients adhere to important medications for chronic diseases."

Other health systems that have entered clinical affiliations with CVS include MedStar Health in Washington, D.C., Emory Healthcare in Georgia, Main Line Health in Pennsylvania, and Carolinas HealthCare System in North Carolina (Japsen, Forbes, 4/1; Brino, Healthcare Finance News, 4/2; Innes, Arizona Daily Star, 3/31; CVS Health release, 3/31; CVS Health website, accessed 4/2).

The takeaway: CVS now has more than 50 clinical affiliations with health systems across the country. Through these deals, CVS shares data about pharmacy use and visits.

Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS? Your guide to the right retail partnership.

Health systems pursing a retail partnership face an inevitable tradeoff between financial risk and autonomy. Our handy chart compares the benefits and drawbacks of each model—both today and in the long run.

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