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January 29, 2016

CVS Pharmacy to Share Patients Health Info with UCMC

The University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC) and CVS Pharmacy will begin sharing patient data in an agreement announced last week. The affiliation is aimed at providing the patients that utilize the services of both organizations with more effective and low-cost health care, according to CVS and UCMC officials.

Under this partnership, patients who visit CVS Pharmacy stores and CVS MinuteClinic retail medical facilities will have the option to release prescription and visit information to the UCMC. Any information shared will be sent through a secured Electronic Health Record system, and will only be sent with the patient’s consent.

This collaboration comes in part to improve medical compliance for patients, especially those with chronic conditions who are frequently prescribed medication. A press release from the UCMC emphasized that primary care physicians are able to provide better treatment for patients when they have access to records from pharmacy and clinic visits they otherwise would not know about.

“We know some patients struggle with taking all their prescriptions as directed—especially those on multiple medications due to a chronic disease. The collaboration with CVS Pharmacy will provide effective pharmacy management in order to help UChicago Medicine patients improve health outcomes and lower medical costs by supporting doctor-ordered care plans, communicating critical patient care information and enhancing connectivity,” the press release stated.

Though the affiliation is intended to cut costs by improving access to care and overall community health, it is currently unknown how many patients use both the UCMC and CVS Health services.

The number of patients expected to be encouraged to find healthcare with either provider as a result of the affiliation is also unknown at this time, according to the UCMC.

According to a CVS Health press release, the company will also partner with John Muir Health in California, Novant Health in North Carolina, and the University of Michigan Health System. This brings the number of health care providers affiliated with CVS Health to nearly 70.

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