Free a1c tests thru cvs

MinuteClinic provides free A1c tests

May 10th, 2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – MinuteClinic is offering complimentary A1c blood glucose tests on a walk-in basis at select locations inside CVS/pharmacy stores.

The CVS Caremark Corp. retail health clinic subsidiary said Monday that the tests, sponsored by Bayer Diabetes Care, are available through June 12, or while supplies last.

As part of the A1c test, MinuteClinic practitioners will check a patient's vital signs, review medical history and administer the blood test. Results are available within five minutes and are discussed with the patient. A visit summary that includes the A1c test results is made available to primary care providers with patient permission. Visit summaries are typically sent within 24 hours via electronic medical record, fax or mail.

MinuteClinic noted that besides performing daily self-testing of glucose levels, diabetics should receive regular A1c tests that measure their average blood glucose levels over a two- to three- month period. The American Diabetes Association advises that patients keep their A1c level below 7%.

"The hemoglobin A1c test is the best measure available to help the more than 24 million Americans with diabetes monitor their condition and prevent other health-related issues from arising," commented Andrew Sussman, president of MinuteClinic and senior vice president and associate chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "With hundreds of walk-in medical centers in stores located near where patients live and work, MinuteClinic is a tremendous resource for diabetics to receive lab testing and speak with a nurse practitioner about their health status."

The A1c tests are not being offered at MinuteClinic locations in Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

In other news, health benefits provider Humana Inc. has opened a health and wellness center in Louisville, Ky., for which MinuteClinic will provide health care services. The companies announced their health services collaboration last December.

Through the new Humana Center for Health and Well-Being, a MinuteClinic nurse practitioner will offer preventive health screenings plus walk-in care for minor illnesses and injuries to Humana associates, while personal health coaching will be provided by LifeSynch, a Humana subsidiary. A host of wellness-related resources will also be offered at the center.

"By offering treatment in a convenient setting, we can work with Humana to help reduce health care expenses for its associates, improve well-being and health outcomes, and reduce time spent away from Humana associates' families and the workplace," Sussman said in a statement.

As a consumer I like the fact that I have access to this but there is a side of me that likes to have a MD on the other side of the table talking to me too, not a Nurse Practitioner.

For instance I may be in for an A1C and the doctor could order up thyroid and other tests that this service doesn’t offer. My MD also is pretty well read on BG control and one of his specialties is geriatric care which I doubt the nurse practitioner has.

CVS and others are beginning to compete with the MD’s and I think we are beginning to see a shift in primary care here where it will not be a doctor servicing you. I am just old fashioned.

Lucky you! Count your blessings that you have a doctor that takes such good care of you…that isnt true for everyone these days.

Clearly the Minute Clinic service isnt intended to replace the PCP or the ER or the broad spectrum of services they provide. The service [Minute Clinic] is a resource geared toward diagnosing and treating common illnesses and minor injuries, vaccinations and providing health screenings.

I am greatful that CVS and others have these conviently placed and largely affordable health care cliics. (a clinic visit is far less than my co-pay). For times when waiting 2 days to see my PCP isnt convenient or cost effective.

I hope that those who’ve been unable to get a A1C because of lack of coverage/unemployment or cost will be able to take advantage of this gift.
Making these tests available for free and at many convenient locations will help those in our community less fortunate that you take better care of themselves.

BTW- If you read the article…you will see that CVS will forward the results with the patients permission to their personal PCP if they have one.