The Best Way To Get Referrals Is to Own The Referrer – Patient Steerage On Steroids

 

The largest hospital system in Georgia, Emory Healthcare, entered into a clinical affiliation with CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic, opening up the door to convenient care for consumers, the latter announced yesterday.

Under the agreement, Emory Healthcare will serve as medical directors of MinuteClinic locations in Atlanta. The two partners will collaborate on disease management and patient education and let their patients know about services that each offers.
 
Starting in 2000, MinuteClinic is the largest retail clinic, as well as the first Joint Commission-accredited retail clinic, according to a press release. MinuteClinic will get to use the Emory Healthcare name with signage at the clinic locations letting patients know about the affiliation. Patients will get access to Emory providers without appointments and the added convenience of multiple locations.

The partnership between Emory Healthcare and MinuteClinic may signal a run for the retail business from the largest health systems in the country. MinuteClinic has had similar relationships with Cleveland Clinic, Allina in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Catholic HealthCare West in Arizona and Nevada, and St. Vincent’s Hospital in Florida.

MinuteClinic is rapidly growing at an explosive pace. Since it opened for business a decade ago, the retail clinics have seen more than 9 million patients, with almost 8 million of those patients since 2007 alone, Dr. Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer of CVS Caremark, told FierceHealthcare in a previous interview.

While patients rate the services with 95 percent satisfaction, according to Sussman, some physicians might still be weary of retail care services, but he said that the retail model may be particularly helpful during a physician shortage.

“Many physicians recognize there’s a shortage. We have physicians sending us patients now, because they can’t get a patient in for say a sore throat or ear infection. We have seen in general a growing acceptance of what we’re doing,” Sussman said. “Our goal is to work with medical groups and hospitals in a complementary way as part of the medical neighborhood.”

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