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CVS MinuteClinic opens today

Will be open 7 days a week

GREENFIELD — There is now another option for those who think they might have strep throat or a bladder infection, but don’t have time to see a doctor or go to the emergency room.

CVS’s walk-in MinuteClinic opens this morning at 8 on Federal Street. In many cases, people will be able to get quick relief for minor health problems. Service costs start at $79 to $89.

MinuteClinic is similar to the AEIOU urgent care clinic that has been at 489 Bernardston Road for the past couple of years, but will not provide as much care.

According to MinuteClinic spokesman Brent Burkhardt, the CVS clinic will deal with minor medical issues, though it will also deal with bladder infections and sports, camp and college physicals seven days a week.

MinuteClinic will provide the most basic care, including treatment of minor skin irritations, minor injuries and conditions of the eye, ear and nose infections.

Burkhardt said if someone believes they are having a heart attack or stroke, they should go to an emergency room.

Though other pharmacy chains, like Rite Aid and Walgreens, have similar clinics in some of their stores, they have not opened any in Franklin County and don’t seem to have plans to do so in the near future.

MinuteClinic will be staffed by nurse practioners who will diagnose, treat and write prescriptions, if needed, said Burkhardt. Those prescriptions may be filled by CVS pharmacy in the same location.

The clinic, like AEIOU, will be open evenings and weekends and will provide common vaccinations, including flu, tetanus, pneumonia, and Hepatitis A and B.

Also like AEIOU, the clinic accepts most major health insurances and will accept cash and credit card payments from people who do not have insurance or who do not have insurance that is accepted.

MinuteClinic will send diagnostic records to primary-care physicians for every patient after every visit and will provide a list of area doctors who are accepting patients for those looking for one.

According to Burkhardt, CVS has 800 clinics throughout 28 states. He said half of the clinic’s patients don’t have a doctor and about half are seen during the evening or on weekends and holidays.

CVS opened its first clinic in 2000, but it was known as QuickMedx at the time. The company’s clinics have seen a total of 17 million patients to date and MinuteClinic earned accreditation from the Joint Commission, a national evaluation and certifying agency for health care organizations and programs in the United States, in 2006.

Patients must be 24 months or older to be seen by nurse practioners.

MinuteClinic will refer patients with more serious problems to a local doctor or hospital.

Burkhardt said MinuteClinic is a way for people to receive good, affordable health care for minor issues.

MinuteClinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Lunch is from 1 to 2 p.m. on weekdays and 1 to 1:30 p.m. on weekends.

For more information, including treatments available and prices, visit:

www.minuteclinic.com

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