A telemedicine service from MinuteClinic—CVS Health’s retail medical clinic—is providing access to care 24 hours a day, seven days a week to consumers in 32 states and the District of Columbia.
Launched last year, the telehealth service—called MinuteClinic Video Visits—costs $ 59 and is for patients ages two years and up who are seeking treatment for a minor illness, injury or skin conditions.
To date, thousands of MinuteClinic Video Visits have been conducted—more than a third of which have taken place outside of traditional clinic hours, according to the company.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit, MinuteClinic President Sharon Vitti said CVS Health is “focusing in on the consumer” and “making things easy for them” while “being impactful with health outcomes and the cost of care.”
MinuteClinic has more than 1,100 retail medical clinics across the country. The company contends that users can access the video service from their mobile device or computer and receive the same quality of care they would receive at MinuteClinic locations in certain CVS Pharmacy and Target stores.
“When requesting a video visit, each patient will complete a health questionnaire and be matched to a board-certified healthcare provider licensed in their state,” according to CVS Health. “Prior to the start of the video-enabled visit, the provider will review the completed questionnaire together with the patient’s medical history.”
The service, which leverages telehealth vendor Teladoc’s technology platform, includes an assessment of a patient’s condition by a provider who determines the appropriate course of treatment using evidence-based clinical care guidelines—and, if necessary, refers the patient for follow-up in person care or testing.
MinuteClinic Video Visits can be paid for by credit or debit card, as well as flexible spending account and health savings account cards—with plans to add insurance coverage over the next few months.
Vitti, who is also senior vice president of CVS Health, noted that the company plans to roll out 1,500 “HealthHUBs” to its stores by the end of 2021. HealthHUBs, which were piloted in Houston earlier this year, offer a broader range of healthcare services including digital and on-demand health tools.
She said the HealthHUBs are “part of our forward-thinking strategy to become more involved in healthcare” and are “a way of reusing or reframing” the CVS retail space for the nearly 5 million consumers who come into its stores each day.
“We’re taking 25 percent of our store and converting it into something that has more of a health orientation,” added Vitt, including products focused on wellness and self- care.
She said wellness rooms in the HealthHUBs for CVS professionals and community partners will host group events, including health classes and nutritional seminars. Also, learning tables will be set up to include iPads for customers to explore health and wellness apps, as well as shop for products on the CVS website.
“We’re trying to develop services that either bridge gaps that haven’t been filled or that complement what an integrated delivery system or provider would do,” concluded Vitti, who pointed out that patients will need services beyond the HealthHUBs and MinuteClinic Video Visits, which are not the “end-all” solutions for healthcare.
“We see it as a bi-directional ecosystem,” she added. “We couldn’t do it by ourselves. We need to do it in collaboration with other providers and integrated delivery systems.”