Convenient Care Association and Drug Store News Celebrate 3rd Annual National Convenient Care Week

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Industry Salutes Retail-based Convenient Care Clinics and Providers Nationwide for Accessible, Affordable, Quality Care

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August 6-10 marked the third annual National Convenient Care Week, established by resolution of the US Senate. The Convenient Care Association and Drug Store News celebrate the work of more than 1,350 retail-based convenient care clinics around the country, and thousands of providers, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians, who provide accessible, quality and cost-effective health care options.

US Senators Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) introduced Senate Resolution 540 designating the week of August 6-10, 2012 National Convenient Care Clinic Week. The resolution states:
“Whereas convenient care clinics are health care facilities located in high-traffic retail outlets that provide affordable and accessible care to patients who have little time to schedule an appointment with a traditional primary care provider or are otherwise unable to schedule such an appointment;     
“Whereas millions of people in the United States do not have a primary care provider, and there is a worsening primary care provider shortage that will prevent many people from obtaining one in the future;
“Whereas convenient care clinics have provided an accessible alternative for more than 15,000,000 people in the United States since the first clinic opened in 2000, the number of convenient care clinics continues to increase rapidly, and as of June 2012, there are approximately 1,350 convenient care clinics in 35 States;
“Whereas convenient care clinics follow rigid industry-wide quality of care and safety standards;
“Whereas convenient care clinics are staffed by highly qualified health care providers, including advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, and physicians;
“Whereas convenient care clinicians all have advanced education in providing quality health care for common episodic ailments including cold and flu, skin irritation, and muscle strains and sprains, and can also provide immunizations, physicals, and preventive health screening;
“Whereas convenient care clinics are proven to be a cost-effective alternative to similar treatment obtained in physicians' offices, urgent care clinics, or emergency departments; and
“Whereas convenient care clinics complement traditional medical service providers by providing extended weekday and weekend hours without the need for an appointment, short wait times, and visits that generally last only 15 to 20 minutes: Now, therefore, be it
“Resolved, That the Senate
“(1) designates the week of August 6 through August 10, 2012, as "National Convenient Care Clinic Week"; (2) supports the goals and ideals of National Convenient Care Clinic Week to raise awareness of the need for accessible and cost-effective health care options to complement the traditional health care model; (3) recognizes that many people in the United States face difficulties accessing traditional models of health care delivery; (4) supports the use of convenient care clinics as an adjunct to the traditional model of health care delivery; and (5) calls on the States to support the establishment of convenient care clinics so that more people in the United States will have access to the cost-effective and necessary emergent and preventive services provided in the clinics.”

The National Celebration of National Convenient Care Clinic Week followed the annual Retail Clinician Education Congress in Kissimmee, FL, hosted by Convenient Care Association and Drug Store News. Tine Hansen-Turton, CCA’s executive director, said, “The event convened several hundred clinicians and convenient care clinic industry leaders from around the country, which speaks to the impact of this model for providing access to care. The US Senate’s resolution also recognizes the tremendous value of the convenient care option.”

“The Drug Store News Group has long believed that the practitioners working in America’s retail clinics are on the front lines of a major revolution in health care, dramatically changing the way care is delivered by lowering the barriers of access and affordability,” said DSN editor in chief Rob Eder. “The Senate’s Resolution to celebrate National Convenient Care Week, and its support both of the model and call on the states to champion the unilateral expansion of retail clinics, is an important indication that people in Washington understand and appreciate the role retail clinics can and should play in the future of health care.”

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About CCA
Convenient Care Association (CCA) is the national trade association of companies and healthcare systems that provide consumers with high-quality, accessible and affordable health care in retail locations. Founded in 2006, CCA was created to enhance the growth of the convenient care industry through quality and safety standards, continuing education for clinicians and policy development. For more information about CCA, visit http://www.ccaclinics.org.

About Drug Store News Group
The Drug Store News Group, which publishes Drug Store News, Retail Clinician, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmacy Tech News, and Specialty Pharmacy, has been the voice of the retail drug industry for more than seven decades. The multimedia news and information leader, Drug Store News is read by nearly 90,000 industry professionals for its timely coverage of industry news, merchandising trends and pharmacy developments. Its authoritative articles and studies provide extensive coverage of every major segment of retail pharmacy, including drug and supermarket chains, mass merchandisers, club stores and independents, keeping it No. 1 in readership. It is the only publication in America that serves all of retail pharmacy.

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Lulu Todorov
Public Health Management Corporation
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