Department of Veterans Affairs Partnering with CVS MinuteClinics to Provide Care to Veterans

Patients will still have to contact a VA help line but will go to a clinic for minor issues

Department of Veterans Affairs Partnering with CVS MinuteClinics to Provide Care to Veterans
Image: Pixabay
April 19, 2017

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has partnered with CVS to provide care for veterans with minor sicknesses and injuries.

The test program—which will start off in the Phoenix area but may be expanded later—will still require patients to contact a VA help line. Then, if they have a minor injury or illness, they may be referred to a CVS in-store MinuteClinic if the nurse on the phone believes it would be "medically appropriate."

"I've long believed that Veterans in need of routine health care services should not have to wait in line for weeks to get an appointment when they can visit community health centers like MinuteClinic to receive timely and convenient care," said Senator John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Technically, the program is part of the VA's Choice program, which sends veterans to private healthcare providers at the expense of the government. Under that program, veterans are normally eligible if they either have been waiting for an appointment for 30 days or they live 40 miles away from a VA facility providing the care they need.

Unlike the Choice program, however, veterans who need acute care may be referred to a clinic immediately. Their health records will be shared with the clinic electronically, and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners will be able to write prescriptions and administer common vaccines.