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08/31/2021

CVS Health Opens MinuteClinics, Expands Mental Health Care

CVS Health is taking its MinuteClinic offering to Washington after the pharmacy retailer opened its first locations in the state.
CVS Health store

The medical walk-in clinics from CVS Health provide care for acute illness, wellness and chronic disease. The new Washington locations are within CVS’ HealthHUBs, which are a relatively new store concept from the retailer. 

CVS began expanding its HealthHUB concept in 2019, with the idea that a significant portion of its stores will focus on health and wellness. HealthHUBs include a broader range of health care services, new product categories, digital and on-demand health tools, advice and personalized care. The HealthHUBs were originally developed to help people manage their chronic conditions, and services focus on screening and monitoring for diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, tuberculosis (TB) testing, contraceptive care, motion sickness prevention and smoking cessation.

"We're focused on helping increase access to high-quality, affordable health care for people in the communities where they live and work," Sharon Vitti, president of MinuteClinic, said in a press release. "We look forward to MinuteClinic being a convenient resource for Washingtonians, both in-person and virtually, as how people access care continues to evolve." 

The retailer’s MinuteClinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common illnesses and conditions. In addition, MinuteClinic locations administer vaccines and have been a retail partner in the national COVID-19 vaccine program.

While CVS Health is opening new physical MinuteClinics, the medical offering is also available online with virtual care through E-Clinic or a MinuteClinic Video Visit.

At the same time, CVS Health is expanding its mental health offering, The Wall Street Journal reported. The retailer is among other major businesses, including Walmart and Walgreens, to offer counseling services in or near its stores.

CVS Health placed mental health specialists at 13 locations in Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida, for a pilot program earlier this year. After seeing some success and a high return rate for those who went through an initial assessment, the pilot is being expanded to 34 locations in the same areas, the WSJ reported.

A mental health assessment costs $129, while a 30-minute session costs $69. Customers can return to CVS Health for therapy sessions or receive referrals for services elsewhere once they have assessment results.

The expansion of mental health services underscores how much deeper the pharmacy retailer is pushing into health care. The company has continually strategized to position itself as having a role in community health