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Pharmacy opens local mini health clinic

Posted: October 23, 2013 10:01 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2013 10:01 p.m.
 

A walk-in medical clinic has opened inside the CVS pharmacy in Santa Clarita on McBean Parkway.

Called the MinuteClinic, nurse practitioners specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections, said a spokesperson for the pharmacy chain.

Minor wounds, abrasions, skin conditions and joint sprains are also treated, and residents can get common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, pneumonia and Hepatitis A & B are available at most locations.

It is the 13th MinuteClinic location in the Los Angeles area and the 35th location in the state for the CVS Caremark Corporation.

Expecting millions of Californians to seek health care services as a result of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law this month that allows pharmacists to provide more services.

Bringing pharmacies into the care-arena is designed to help meet the demand of an increased number of people seeking medical care under the state’s Covered California system.

“At a time when nearly 70 percent of Americans are managing their health through daily prescriptions, it only makes good sense to incorporate these skilled medication experts in our health care system,” said Dawn Benton, CEO of the California Society of Health-System Pharmacists, “especially as we face a shortage of providers under the Affordable Care Act.”

Because there’s a shortage of primary care physicians, there will be a need for more physician extenders, said Dr. Bernard Klein, MD, MBA, chief executive of Providence Holy Cross in a recent healthcare discussion with the SCV Business Journal.

“They’re going to have to play a larger role,” Klein said. “The role of the primary care doctor will have to change to be more like the captain of a ship. Extenders will take care of some of the things that you don’t need a physician to do.”

Pharmacists bring an entirely different way of looking at care, said Dr. Matteo Dinolfo, medical director of the UCLA Department of Medicine community offices.

“The skill set they have is just so invaluable. A lot of that burden will be taken away from that physician,” he said.

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners specialize in family health care and can diagnose, treat and write prescriptions for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections, said a spokesperson for CVS.

They’ll also provide a series of wellness services including screenings and monitoring for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

jana@signalscv.com
661-287-5599

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