Everything is online nowadays. And with healthcare growing exponentially year over year, it makes sense for companies like CVS to move to the digital realm.
so you’ve likely seen CVS offer e-visits. Perhaps you’ve been wondering what exactly I that is and how do they work?
What Is A CVS E-Visit?
A CVS e-visit is an online health consultation and treatment delivered by CVS Health MinuteClinic, and which were introduced in the US in 2020 during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic.
These health consultations (or telehealth consultations) were designed to deliver high quality and convenient treatment which you can access from your home. MinuteClinic is the company’s (CVS) retail medical clinic and they began the service in 35 states and with plans to expand.
Patients select a virtual E-Clinic with their local MinuteClinic provider, and appointments can be scheduled through the CVS pharmacy app.
Clients will pay around $59 for the consultation, which typically lasts for around 15 minutes, and patients need to be over 2 years old.
What is CVS Health?
CVS Health Corporation (or Consumer Value Stores) is an American healthcare company that owns CVS Pharmacy, which is a retail pharmacy chain and a number of other brands. The company’s headquarters is in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
They hold a commitment to ”advancing health equity across the U.S.”, which includes an investment in critical programming and providing access to care services for all communities.
Why Did CVS Introduce E-visits?
CVS were looking for a way that all patients could access health care quickly, conveniently, and safely in a way that “enables them to follow important shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines.”
Qualified care providers provide treatment for a range of non-emergency health issues. Before the e-visit, which will be delivered via phone or computer, providers will ask a range of questions to assess your condition and help select a course of treatment.
That provider will then review your responses and your medical history before starting the video-enabled visit.
E-Clinic Visits are available from 9 AM to 5 PM, and you can access Video Visits 24/7. The prices for an E-Clinic Visit vary depending on your insurance coverage and the services needed but is usually around $59 per consultation.
What is a CVS Minute Clinic?
MinuteClinic is a division of CVS (Consumer Value Stores) Health that provides retail clinic services and was started as QuickMedx by Dr. Douglas Smith, in Minnesota. MinuteClinic now has more than 1,100 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia.
MinuteClinics provide patients with standard flu shots and cholesterol screenings, for example, and can diagnose and treat common illnesses, injuries and skin conditions.
MinuteClinics can also administer vaccinations and physicals and write prescriptions if needed and issue doctor’s notes when medically necessary. They also provide contraception services and support, and alcohol and tobacco services guidance.
MinuteClinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who have prescribing authority, and who work under the supervision of a physician who is likely off site.
Can I get a doctor’s note from CVS?
During a virtual appointment, the doctor is able to provide you with a care note based on their diagnosis of your condition and its necessary treatment.
MinuteClinics will ensure that your primary care provider receives the information about your visit. You will be given a summary of all your visit details, and at this point, you can alert Minute Clinic to also send a copy to your primary care provider.
However, this cannot be done without your permission. You do not have to make this decision at the time of the consultation. If you forget, or make the decision later, you can still organize to have the information sent to your regular doctor.
What Insurance does CVS MinuteClinic accept?
CVS accepts most types of insurance plans, including Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Blue Shield, and United Health Care. It is best to contact your insurance provider to verify your coverage. E-Clinics are now working to contract with most insurance plans.
Always present your insurance card or prescription benefit card when you purchase medicine at CVS. After giving your insurance information, CVS will check your insurance plan and any paperwork that will be required.
If your insurance will not cover you claim, the CVS Careteam work with your doctor to find another medication that will work for you and which is covered under your insurance.
Which is better: a MinuteClinic in-clinic consultation or an e-consultation?
MinuteClinic providers are no longer accepting walk in patients, but you can still make in-clinic appointments if you feel that this kind of delivery would better meet your needs than a virtual visit.
MinuteClinics are taking precautionary measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, and these include pre-screening all patients for symptoms outside the clinic before entry.
E-Visits are a new form of health consultation for most of us, but this kind of service delivery, which may be quite bewildering for some, is probably here to stay.
The success of e-consultations depends very much on the predicament of the individual patient and their complexity of their health issues.