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C+CT

CVS launches online video medical services

August 8, 2018

CVS Health is rolling out a service to offer diagnosis and advice for easy-to-diagnose maladies by smartphone app — similar to rival Walgreens' MDLive telemedicine service.

The CVS MinuteClinic Video Visit, as the service is called, will provide patients with 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to advice for minor illnesses and injuries, skin conditions and similar simple needs. The cost will be $59 per use, with options for paying through insurance.

“At CVS Health, we’re committed to delivering high-quality care when and where our patients need it and at prices they can afford,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health, in a prepared statement. “Through this new telehealth offering, patients now have an additional option for seeking care that is even more convenient for them.”

CVS is teaming up with Teladoc, which is providing the technological platform.

Rival Walgreens offers MDLive online video medical consultation

“Each patient will complete a health questionnaire, then be matched to a board-certified health care provider licensed in their state, who will review the completed questionnaire with the patient’s medical history and proceed with the video-enabled visit,” said CVS in a written statement. “During a MinuteClinic Video Visit, the provider will assess the patient’s condition and determine the appropriate course of treatment following evidence-based clinical care guidelines. For patients who require a prescription as part of their treatment plan, the provider will submit the prescription to the patient’s preferred pharmacy. If it is determined the patient should be seen in person for follow-up care or testing, the provider will recommend that the patient visit a health care provider in their community, such as their primary care provider or a nearby MinuteClinic.”

The video service is currently available in nine states — Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Virginia — and in Washington, D.C. The company has plans to make the service available nationwide, where allowed, by the end of this year.

CVS is close to acquiring insurance giant Aetna as it continues to diversify its business. Pharmacy chains are rapidly expanding their services, in the face of competition from Amazon.com, which recently acquired online pharmacy Pillpack.

By Edmund Mander

Director, Editor-In-Chief/SCT

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