In Phoenix, Arizona, CVS and the Department of Veterans Affairs are teaming up to improve veterans’ access to care using Epic. The partnership lets veterans use their benefits to get treatment for minor ailments at local CVS MinuteClinics, rather than by scheduling an appointment through the VA, opening up many more options for care. Phoenix is home to almost 120,000 veterans who can now be served at one of the 24 MinuteClinics in the area, which should help veterans “receive timely and convenient care,” said Arizona Senator John McCain.
If a patient calls the regional VA medical center with minor medical concerns such as an ear infection, respiratory infection, or sprain, they may be referred to a local MinuteClinic location and told that their insurance will be honored there. After receiving care, the patient’s visit summary is sent to their primary care physician at the VA using Care Everywhere, Epic’s data exchange platform.
“By allowing our electronic health records to communicate and share important clinical information, we’ll have a more comprehensive view of the veterans we collectively serve, which will enable important health care decision making and ensure continuity of care,” said Andrew Sussman, M.D., Executive Vice President and Associate CMO of CVS Health. “We’re committed to providing top-notch care to the area’s veterans and this relationship will allow us to do so in locations and at times that are convenient for the VA’s patients.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to go live on Epic’s scheduling software in the future, which will give veterans the option to book appointments with the VA through MyChart. With the next version of Epic, schedulers at the VA will be able to make appointments at CVS directly without needing to call them first.
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