VA tests partnership with CVS to reduce veterans' wait times

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Department of Veterans Affairs is hoping a partnership with the CVS Pharmacy chain will reduce some of its strain in providing urgent care to about 120,000 veterans who receive treatment at the Phoenix VA medical center.

The new pilot program was announced Tuesday. It allows ailing veterans at the Phoenix VA to go to one of 24 “MinuteClinics” operated by CVS for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.

The Phoenix VA was the site of the 2014 scandal over chronically long wait times for care.

Although the program is currently limited to the Phoenix area, the collaboration is a test-run of sorts as VA Secretary David Shulkin mulls an overhaul proposal aimed at reducing veterans’ wait times. That proposal is due out by fall.

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