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CVS announced yesterday that it is opening four MinuteClinic health centers at stores in the Washington, DC, area, staffed by nurse practitioners and offering screening and prescription services as well as common inoculations.

The clinics are not actually operated by CVS, but rather outsourced to MinuteClinic, which currently operates 40 health care centers located in Greater Baltimore and Annapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Greater Nashville and Greater Indianapolis.

The companies note that the clinics are convenience-driven and require no appointment, with reasonable pricing such as $30 for a flu shot, $30 for a pneumonia inoculation, and $60 for a measles/mumps/rubella inoculation.
KC's View:
We’ve been a big fan of such installations, believing that they help stores cross over from being sources of product to being resources of information. We especially think that they make sense for supermarkets, because they allow the store to close the circle between nutrition and medicine.

But we’ve gotten some emails suggesting that not everyone feels the same way, that some people really don’t want people getting flu shots or treatment for basic diseases just a few aisles over from where the fresh produce is being sold.

That’s an interesting point, and certainly a concern worth paying attention to…but we don’t think we’d let it stop the development of these kinds of installations.

If we were looking to get a flu shot, we’d love to have it as convenient as the local supermarket or drug stores. (A lot of chains offer these, by the way, but more on an isolated basis. We’re in favor of extending the concept to a full-time approach like that used by MinuteClinic.)