MinuteClinics: Rapid growth as they cater to convenience

10/20/2013 12:00 AM

10/20/2013 12:56 AM

CVS MinuteClinic had 10 clinics in South Carolina pharmacies in 2010. By the end of 2013, it’ll have 38.

“We’ve been expanding aggressively,” said Dr. Andy Sussman, MinuteClinic’s president. “And we’re going to be expanding even more.”

MinuteClinic deals in episodic care. If something goes wrong on a weekend, or if you don’t have time to get treatment until after work on a weekday, you can stop by the local CVS and see a nurse practitioner at MinuteClinic. It’s ideal for vaccinations, ear infections and sinus problems.

The S.C. Department of Health and Human Services this year approved MinuteClinic as a provider for Medicaid patients in the state, citing the need for more convenience for clients.

Millions of newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act will put a strain on standard physician practices, pushing patients to places such as MinuteClinic. Anticipating a sharp increase in patient volume, MinuteClinic has been working with nursing schools to help get more nurse practitioners trained, Sussman said.

“We have a shortage of primary care physicians around the country,” Sussman said. “We think our model can help deal with that shortage.”

Joey Holleman

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