CVS Health Launches Effort to Make MinuteClinics More Senior Friendly

Retail pharmacy chain CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) wants to provide care that is specifically tailored to older adults in its MinuteClinic locations. To do so, CVS Health is partnering with one of the top-ranked research universities in the United States and plans to draw on care principles developed through the Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative.

CVS Health has made or been a part of several key moves with an eye toward America’s aging population. In October, the pharmacy giant secured anti-trust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of insurer Aetna (NYSE: AET), dependent on certain divesture requirements. This merger could support aging in place by making more health services easily accessible to people at locations close to their homes — namely, CVS pharmacies.

MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of Rhode Island-based CVS Health, is working with the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University to draw on the institution’s expertise in gerontology and educational knowhow. The collaboration — supported by a one-year planning grant of up to $945,000 from The John A. Hartford Foundation — will help support nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work in MinuteClinic locations across the country.

Th John A. Hartford Foundation support comes through its Age-Friendly Health Systems Initiative with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The American Hospital Association and the Catholic Health Association of the United States are also part of the initiative.

“The Age-Friendly Health Systems initiative has become a movement to transform care for all of us as we age, thanks to our collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and our other partners,” Terry Fulmer, president of The John A. Hartford Foundation, said in a statement. “Through this new partnership with Case Western Reserve and CVS Health’s MinuteClinic, we have the tremendous opportunity to spread and scale the principles of Age-Friendly care to even more older adults in even more communities.”

The collaboration will work by placing a Case Western Reserve team in select MinuteClinic locations to help build out and execute on the Age-Friendly initiative’s cornerstone framework.

Mary Dolansky, associate professor and director of the Quality Safety Education for Nurses Institute at Case Western Reserve’s nursing school, will lead the project.

Case Western Reserve, CVS and partnering organizations plan to identify MinuteClinic sites across the country that serve a significant aging adult population as pilot locations for Age-Friendly care, with the eventual goal of expanding the program to all 1,100 U.S. MinuteClinic locations nationwide.

The collaboration will help train more than 2,900 nurse practitioners and physician assistants, according to Case Western Reserve.

Since launching, MinuteClinic has offered care through more than 42 million patient visits, according to Senior Vice President of CVS Health and Executive Director of MinuteClinic Sharon Vitti.

“Through our partnership with Case Western Reserve and IHI, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to further enhance quality, age-friendly care within our clinic,” Vitti said.

About 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, government statistics show. Roughly  one-quarter of today’s 65-year-olds are projected to live past 90. Estimates indicate that by the year 2030, the U.S. will be home to 71 million people over age 65.

Written by Robert Holly

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Robert Holly
When Robert's not covering the latest in home health care news, you can likely find him rooting for the White Sox or roaming his neighborhood streets playing Pokemon Go. Before joining HHCN, Robert covered everything from big agribusiness to the hottest tech startups. 

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