CVS Caremark's MinuteClinics Blaze Trail for Other Retail Chains

CVS Caremark is opening roughly three MinuteClinics per week, a rate well-beyond Wal-Mart Store's development of in-house medical clinics, according to a Bloomberg report.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart launched its clinic strategy in 2007, which involved opening retail-based health clinics in communities across the U.S. Today it has fewer than 130 clinics and is closing them more quickly than it's opening them, according to the report. Wal-Mart leases the space to independent providers, according to the report, whereas CVS operates its MinuteClinics.

Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS has established a goal to have 1,500 MinuteClinics within four years. Today, the chain has about 630 clinic sites and says its clinic business has grown by a compound annual rate of 39 percent in the last six years.

Another player in the retail clinic strategy is Walgreen Company, which has 364 clinics in more than 8,500 stores across the country, according to the report. An executive from the company said the chain is preparing for the number of clinics to "grow significantly," especially as Americans are required to hold health insurance in 2014, but declined to provide specific numbers, according to the repot.

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