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New Affiliation Between MinuteClinic and Advocate Health Care Increases Access to Medical Services in Chicagoland
Clinical Collaboration and Integration of Electronic Medical Records Included in Agreement

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and Oak Brook, Ill., April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

MinuteClinic, the retail health care division of CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), has entered into a clinical affiliation with Advocate Health Care and Advocate Physician Partners to enhance the high quality, affordable health care services provided to patients in communities throughout Chicagoland and central Illinois. It is the largest clinical collaboration between a regional health system and MinuteClinic based on number of in-store clinic locations.

Under the agreement, physicians affiliated with Advocate Physician Partners will serve as medical directors for MinuteClinic's 23 locations in the Chicago metropolitan area and in Bloomington, Ill. In addition, MinuteClinic and Advocate Health Care will collaborate on patient education and disease management initiatives and will inform patients of the services each offers. Where appropriate, Advocate Physician Partners physicians can accept patients who need a higher level of care than MinuteClinic can provide. Signage at MinuteClinic locations will inform patients that each site has a clinical affiliation with Advocate.

"Chicagoland is one of MinuteClinic's largest markets, so it was important for us to develop a clinical affiliation with a system like Advocate that delivers high quality services throughout the region and overlaps with the vast majority of our clinic sites," said Andrew Sussman, M.D., president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark. "Advocate's progressive approach to health care reform and its national leadership in developing new models for clinical care was an important factor in our decision to affiliate with them and work jointly to promote more convenient and accessible solutions for receiving care in the Chicago area."

MinuteClinic medical clinics in Illinois are open seven days a week, including weekday evening hours, and are staffed by nurse practitioners who provide treatment for common ailments and administer wellness and prevention services and health condition monitoring.

"We look forward to collaborating with MinuteClinic on creative ways to improve outcomes for our patients with chronic conditions," said Lee Sacks, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer at Advocate.. "This partnership allows Advocate physicians to provide a medical home for the many patients who seek care at MinuteClinic and do not have a relationship with a physician. It also aligns with AdvocateCare, our new transformational approach to health care delivery, which provides better coordination and transitions for our patients."

Advocate Health Care has been recognized as one of the nation's top 10 health systems by Thomson Reuters. It is the largest, fully integrated health care system in Illinois with more than 250 sites of care, including 12 hospitals and seven trauma centers. Advocate Physician Partners has received national recognition for its innovative, clinical integration program and is the state's largest network of primary care physicians and specialists.

MinuteClinic and Advocate will fully integrate their electronic medical record systems to streamline communication around all aspects of each individual's care. With patient permission, each MinuteClinic will share medical history and visit summaries with other Advocate and MinuteClinic locations in the region. In the meantime, MinuteClinic will continue its standard practice of sending visit summaries via fax or mail, typically within 24 hours.

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners specialize in family medicine and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses, such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Minor wounds, abrasions and joint sprains are treated, and common vaccinations for influenza, tetanus, pneumonia, and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations. Walk-in camp, sports and college physicals are available daily. In addition, MinuteClinic administers a series of wellness services designed to help patients identify lifestyle changes needed to improve their current and future health, including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

No appointments are required at MinuteClinic and most health insurance is accepted.

About Advocate Health Care

Advocate Health Care, one of the nation's top 10 health systems, based on clinical performance, is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the largest health care providers in the Midwest. Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care, including 10 acute care hospitals, two integrated children's hospitals, five Level I trauma centers (the state's highest designation in trauma care),two Level II trauma centers, one of the area's largest home health care companies and one of the region's largest medical groups. Advocate Health Care trains more primary care physicians and residents at its three major teaching hospitals than any other health system in the state. As a not-for-profit, mission-based health system affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, Advocate contributed $462 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland in 2009.

About MinuteClinic

MinuteClinic is a division of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. MinuteClinic is the largest provider of retail-based medical clinics in the United States with approximately 500 locations in 26 states and the District of Columbia. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to patient demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. Nationally, the company has generated more than nine million patient visits, with a 95% customer satisfaction rating. MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics. MinuteClinic is the first retail health care provider to receive accreditation (2006) and reaccreditation (2009) from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.

SOURCE MinuteClinic

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