MinuteClinic: COVID-19 FAQs and resources

During this time when access to routine health care is being disrupted, we continue to be focused on our goal to provide our patients with affordable, high-quality care in a safe environment.

CVS Health and MinuteClinic are collaborating closely with local health departments related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

    Additional steps to protect patients
     

    In order to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and in line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, MinuteClinic is making the following temporary changes to help keep our patients, customers and colleagues safe during this time:

    • We are no longer accepting walk-in patients, all patients must make an appointment on-line on the MinuteClinic website or the CVS Pharmacy app.

    • Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting.

    • Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store until the MinuteClinic provider texts or calls them in for their scheduled visit.

    People who suspect they may have COVID-19, should consult with their primary care provider or local health department about testing, and follow CDC guidance.

    Health services
     

    Although we are currently not able to test for COVID-19, MinuteClinic providers continue to be available to support the routine health needs of our patients at all of our locations. Our providers can still evaluate, diagnose and treat common injuries, illnesses and skin conditions, provide vaccines and help manage chronic conditions.

    Learn more about the services MinuteClinic offers.

    Video visits
     

    If someone suspects they may have COVID-19, telemedicine services are an effective option for screening. Telemedicine and Virtual Care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home.

    We recommend patients check to see if their health insurance plan offers a telemedicine benefit. If their insurance plan does not offer this benefit, or if they don’t have health insurance, MinuteClinic Video Visits are an affordable cash-pay option and are available in 40 states and Washington, DC.

    Learn more about Video Visits at MinuteClinic.

    Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

    What is MinuteClinic doing to protect patients from COVID-19?

    The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern, right now. As a temporary measure, MinuteClinic is taking the following actions to help support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities:

    • MinuteClinic is no longer accepting walk-in patients, all patients must make an appointment on-line on the MinuteClinic web site or the CVS Pharmacy app.

    • Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic, to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting.

    • Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store until the MinuteClinic provider texts or calls them in for their scheduled visit.

    What should patients do if they suspect they may have COVID-19?

    At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

    People with symptoms of a respiratory illness, including a high fever, cough and shortness of breath or have been in close contact with someone who meets these criteria, should not schedule a visit at MinuteClinic. These patients should consult with their primary care provider or local health department about testing. CVS Health offers drive-through testing in certain states. More information about testing and testing locations is available on our MinuteClinic website.

    If someone suspects they may have COVID-19, telemedicine services can be an effective option for screening. Telemedicine and virtual care services enable patients to talk with a health care provider and have a basic screening to determine their risk for COVID-19, without having to leave home. MinuteClinic offers two telemedicine options including E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic Video Visits.

    If a patient develops emergency warning signs for COVID-19 they should seek out medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:This list is not all inclusive.*

    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

    • New confusion or inability to arouse

    • Bluish lips or face

    *This list is not all inclusive.


    What will happen if patients come into the clinic without making an appointment first?

    The safety of our patients, providers and colleagues is our number one concern, right now. As a temporary measure, we are only accepting scheduled visits at our MinuteClinic locations for the time being.

    If a patient arrives at the clinic without an appointment, there will be signage that lets them know we are not accepting walk-in patients for the time being and directing them to make an appointment at minuteclinic.com. The sign-in kiosk will be disabled.

    There will also be information posted online with this information.

    Patients can make an appointment using their mobile device but are required to do so outside of the store or while waiting in their personal vehicle.

    Why can’t patients wait for their appointment in the store?

    Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected.
    In line with CDC and State Health Department guidance for infection control and prevention, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, Minute Clinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol.

    Patients with scheduled appointments at their local MinuteClinic, are required to wait in their personal vehicle or outside the store. The MinuteClinic provider will call or text the patient on the number provided when setting up the appointment, when it is time for their scheduled visit.

    Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

    What happens if a patient comes to MinuteClinic and might have COVID-19?

    Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to ensure our patients and providers are protected. At this time, we are not able to test for the COVID-19 virus inside MinuteClinic.

    Patients making an appointment will be pre-screened outside of the clinic, to determine if it is the right site of care for their symptoms. If the pre-screen identifies the patient to be at risk for COVID-19 they will receive guidance on how to access care in a different health care setting, such as their primary care physician or local health department.

    If you have a suspected case of COVID-19 in the clinic, how will you help keep the store and clinic safe for other customers?

    Our goal is to provide safe, high-quality care and to help protect our patients and providers. In alignment with CDC and CMS recommendations, and in the interest of keeping our providers, store colleagues and patients safe during this time, Minute Clinic has developed a temporary COVID-19 waiting room protocol. The purpose of this protocol is to further enhance our infection control procedures for patients prior to them being seen in the clinic.

    If one of our providers does see a patient who meets the criteria for COVID-19 risk, we take the appropriate precautions to protect our providers, other patients and customers.  During the exam the provider will wear protective gear (e.g., appropriate masks, gloves, gown and goggles) and will provide the patient with a mask.

    After the visit, the provider will disinfect the clinic exam room following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) health care precautions for communicable infections, which includes the thorough disinfection of all clinic surfaces (including the sign-in kiosk). The provider may also close the disinfected clinic for a two-hour period if needed and move to another room in the clinic to continue patient care.

    Near the sign-in kiosk, we have masks available, as well as signage to encourage patients who are displaying lower-respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to don masks while they wait for their appointment in their personal vehicle. We also have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available near the sign-in kiosk and encourage patient use.

    Does MinuteClinic® offer telemedicine services?

    Yes. MinuteClinic offers two telemedicine options including E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic Video Visits. For more details, visit MinuteClinic.com.

    What is the difference between E-Clinic visits and MinuteClinic Video Visits?

    E-Clinic visits offer patients the opportunity to connect with a local MinuteClinic provider via video conferencing. They are available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. local time, in Washington, DC and the 33 states where MinuteClinic operates, and are covered by most insurance companies that have MinuteClinic in-network. Patients can request an E-Clinic visit at minuteclinic.com and a local provider will reach out to identify a convenient time to connect within 24 hours. 

    MinuteClinic Video Visits are available on-demand or by appointment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in 43 states and Washington, DC, including states where there is no MinuteClinic physical presence. Video Visits leverage Teladoc's technology platform and are initiated through the patient’s computer or mobile device, at MinuteClinic.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app. A Video Visit costs $59 and is an affordable cash-pay option for people who do not have health insurance, or whose health insurance does not provide a telehealth benefit. Video Visits are covered by select insurance plans, including most Aetna plans, and are payable by credit, debit, FSA or HSA cards.

    What types of health services are available through an E-Clinic?

    MinuteClinic providers are available to evaluate, diagnose and treat common injuries, illnesses and skin conditions. These conditions can include seasonal allergies, colds and coughs, flu, sore throat, earaches, minor injuries such as a sprained ankle, sinus infections, skin conditions, upset stomach, UTIs and bladder infections. Providers can also help manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure for established patients during an E-Clinic visit.

    During an E-Clinic visit, the provider can also assess the patient’s symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19 and provide guidance on how to access testing or treatment if infection with the virus is suspected. 

    For more details about the specific conditions that can be evaluated during an E-Clinic visit, please visit MinuteClinic.com for more information.

    Does MinuteClinic offer behavioral health services either through Video Visits or e-Clinic visits?

    No, not at this time. MinuteClinic supports acute and chronic conditions, but not behavioral health.

    Are E-Clinic visits covered by insurance?  If yes, do they apply for current telehealth copay/cost share waivers?

    Yes, E-Clinic visits are covered by most insurance plans and may be eligible for existing cost-share and copay waivers currently in place for telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    How does the E-Clinic visit process work? How long will a patient typically need to wait for their E-Clinic visit after submitting their information?

    To connect with a provider, patients can visit www.minuteclinic.com and request an E-Clinic visit. The patient will be prompted to enter their information and reason for requesting a visit through the Epic MyChart portal. After verifying the patient’s insurance, a MinuteClinic provider in the patient’s state will be notified of the request and will connect with the patient to set up a convenient appointment time for an E-Clinic visit within 24 hours of the request.

    Will the MinuteClinic provider be able to prescribe medication if needed during an E-Clinic visit?

    Yes, when clinically appropriate.

    If after an E-Clinic visit the patient develops further symptoms or needs additional assessment, can they connect with the same provider?

    Not necessarily, but the information related to the patient’s E-Clinic visit will be included as part of their patient record, which can be accessed by any of our providers to help ensure continuity of care.

    If after a MinuteClinic E-Clinic visit, the patient requires follow-up care at a MinuteClinic, will their insurance be billed a second time?

    If a patient is seen the next calendar day in a MinuteClinic setting their insurance will be billed for both visits. If a patient is seen through an E-Clinic visit and in clinic at MinuteClinic on the same calendar day, only one visit will be billed.

    How can individuals access MinuteClinic Video Visits?

    Individuals can access MinuteClinic Video Visits through the CVS Pharmacy mobile app as well as minuteclinic.com.

    Are MinuteClinic Video Visits covered by Aetna health plans and associated member cost share waivers?

    Yes. MinuteClinic Video Visits are now covered by most Aetna Commercial plans. Until June 4, 2020, Aetna is waiving member cost sharing for any in-network covered telemedicine visit, including MinuteClinic Video Visits. Aetna self-insured plan sponsors offer this waiver at their discretion. MinuteClinic Video Visits are also covered by most Aetna Medicare Advantage plans and copays are waived through September 30, 2020. At this time, MinuteClinic Video Visits are not covered by these plans: Aetna Better Health of Virginia (HMO SNP), Aetna Better Health of Ohio, a MyCare Ohio plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan), Aetna Better Health of Michigan Premier Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan), and Aetna Better Health of Illinois Premier Plan (Medicare-Medicaid Plan).

    Aetna and self-insured plan sponsors, as appropriate, will continue to cover member cost sharing for services included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (such as COVID-19 testing and visits resulting in a COVID-19 test).

    Are MinuteClinic Video Visits considered part of the Aetna no-cost/low-cost benefit?

    No. Telemedicine, including MinuteClinic Video Visits are not part of the Aetna no-cost/low-cost benefit.

    Do MinuteClinic Video Visits replace Aetna’s Teladoc® offering?

    No. MinuteClinic Video Visits are another telemedicine option for most Aetna Commercial plans. Those plans that cover MinuteClinic Video Visits will do so whether they offer a Teladoc® benefit or not.

    Do other health care payers provide coverage for MinuteClinic Video Visits?

    At this time, Aetna is the only national health care payer covering MinuteClinic Video Visits. 

    Will Aetna members have to pay for covered MinuteClinic Video Visits up front?

    At this time, no payment will be taken from covered Aetna members at the time of the visit. MinuteClinic will bill members for any applicable member cost share after the visit.Disclaimer: Regulations regarding telehealth services and care package availability for Aetna Medicaid members vary by state and, in some cases, are changing in light of the current situation. Aetna Medicaid members with questions about their benefits are encouraged to call the member services phone number on the back of their ID cards.

    How do I know if my plan covers MinuteClinic Video Visits?

    While most Aetna members have MinuteClinic Video Visits as a covered benefit, there are some exceptions. If you have questions about whether MinuteClinic Video Visits are covered under your plan, call the Aetna Member Services number on the back of your member ID card.

    Why doesn’t my plan cover MinuteClinic Video Visits?

    Plans do not cover specific benefits for a variety of reasons. If you have questions regarding why your plan does not cover MinuteClinic Video Visits, contact your employer’s Human Resources professional.  

    Will my plan cover MinuteClinic Video Visits but not Teladoc®? How do I figure this out?

    MinuteClinic Video Visits and Teladoc® are a covered benefit under most Commercial plans. However, there are situations where an Aetna member may have MinuteClinic Video Visit coverage and not Teladoc®. If you have questions about your coverage, call the Aetna Member Services number on the back of your member ID card. 

    Will my plan cover Teladoc® but not MinuteClinic Video Visits? How do I figure this out?

    No. Aetna Commercial members who have Teladoc® also have MinuteClinic Video Visits as a covered benefit.

    What is the difference between a Teladoc® visit and CVS MinuteClinic Video Visit?

    There are a few differences:

    • MinuteClinic Video Visits are video only. Teladoc® offers care by phone and video.

    • MinuteClinic Video Visits are for general medical care only. Where covered by plans, Teladoc® offers care for general medical, behavioral health, and dermatology.

    • MinuteClinic Video Visits are available in 43 States and Washington, D.C. Teladoc® is available in all 50 states.

    • Providers for both services are all board certified and credentialed and could be a doctor or nurse practitioners, both of whom are licensed in your state and are able to prescribe medications as appropriate.

     

    05.06.20