MinuteClinic plans to double number of sites by 2015

MinuteClinic has its sights set on playing a bigger role in the healthcare system in the coming years. It plans to open about 100 more clinics per year over the next five years, which would allow it to roughly double its number of clinic sites to 1,060 clinics in 100 markets. MinuteClinic currently has more than 550 sites in 55 markets.

"Going forward, MinuteClinic will take on added significance," CVS Caremark president and COO, Larry Merlo told investors at a J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference. "Think about the growing shortage of the primary-care physician population, along with the 32 million uninsured coming online with some type of coverage beginning in 2014."

As FierceHealthcare mentioned in August, the surge in visits to MinuteClinic may be related to Americans cutting back on doctors. Consumers who are forced to spend out-of-pocket money on healthcare are more likely to stretch their health dollars further by turning to cheaper, more convenient options like retail clinics over traditional physician offices.

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