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MinuteClinic, your neighborhood CVS (Stock Quote: CVS) health care center, has maintained three basic canons, providing quality care, making it accessible and keeping it affordable, since 2000.

“I think our model will work in many, many different markets,” said Dr. Andrew Sussman, President of MinuteClinic and Senior Vice President / Associate Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark Corporation. “It’s Sunday morning, your 10-year-old has a sore throat and a fever, and we’ve become a good option.”

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants treat patients for minor illnesses and injuries during extended hours inside a local CVS for about $62, before insurance. The walk-in appointments last on average 15 minutes, turning a doctor’s office visit into a routine errand.

Not sure how to figure out how much you’ve been paying for health care? See our story here.

When MinuteClinic opened, the business model included treating only the most basic ailments such as the cold, influenza and bronchitis. They’ve since expanded to treat minor injuries and recently added school physicals and injection services.

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“We’re rolling out more chronic disease maintenance,” Sussman said, targeting patients with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. “It will be maintenance kind of activities where we work collaboratively with the patient.”

The clinics have boomed both because of their low costs and convenience. But the 95% customer satisfaction, Sussman said, is what has kept people coming back.

Since CVS Caremark acquired the company in 2006, the business has exploded from 70 locations to 570, now serving 25 states, and most recently, Washington, D.C. During his February earnings report, CVS Caremark Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Ryan said foot traffic increased 50% from 2008 and that third parties paid for 80% of business in the fourth quarter.

“We still expect MinuteClinic to break even by the end of 2011 on an all-in basis,” he said.

Looking to invest in other health care initiatives, check out our video on the top stocks for 2010.

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