Improving Integration across Care Settings through Technology

Health leaders rank care coordination as one of the biggest challenges to address in order to improve population health, underscoring the importance of arming providers with the right tools and technologies to deliver highly-personalized care solutions to patients.

By coupling the expertise of a pharmacy innovation company and a health plan, we are well-equipped to help providers address unmet needs in patients care. CVS Health and Aetna are expanding the use of technology and data to help complement providers’ holistic view of their patients’ health. Through our combined assets, we have the ability to improve connectivity among patients’ primary care providers to ensure high-quality care and continuity across care settings. This will, in turn, allow us to improve population health across the U.S.

Complementing Primary Care

One in three Americans views access to quality care as the most important health priority in their community. That’s why we are looking to narrow the distance between patients and their caregiving facility by leveraging digital data and making health care accessible in community locations. As a first step, we will be focused on staying in touch with the primary care doctor and integrating the care of the patient in a complementary way.

A combined company with our end-to-end capabilities enables better communication technology between the primary care provider, pharmacy and patient.

“We want to make health care easier to use by better connecting people,” says Dr. Alan Lotvin, Executive Vice President of Transformation at CVS Health.  “We are empowering the consumer to take a more active role in their health care by providing them with convenient tools and services that are seamlessly integrated within the overall health care ecosystem.”

For example, a connected glucometer could help monitor a patient's blood sugar and send an alert to a CVS Health provider for intervention if a patient's levels are too high. Between regular doctor visits, a patient with a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension could see a MinuteClinic provider for a series of tests to help understand how their medications are working, make adjustments to their therapeutic regimen, and receive tailored counseling on adherence and lifestyle management. In addition, telemedicine can also help fill the gaps between in-person visits to a local CVS Pharmacy or primary care provider. All information gathered during these visits could be captured and shared with their primary care provider and care team to help ensure connected care. This high-touch, integrated model could also be used to help patients transition from a hospital stay back to their home in order to help prevent unnecessary, costly emergency room visits or hospital readmissions.

Improving Population Health

Today, just five percent of the U.S. population is driving approximately 50 percent of total health care spending at more than $50,000 per patient annually. Many of these patients have common chronic diseases which, when unmanaged, can result in costly and sometimes debilitating medical complications.

Dr. Troyen Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health, believes that reaching the dual goal of helping Americans achieve better health and reducing costs requires a combination of digital health tools and face-to-face interactions. According to Brennan, combining CVS Health’s community presence with Aetna’s data will help ensure that patients are receiving the right care and managing their conditions efficiently.

“We can take the local ability to interact with patients, and combine it with the ability to understand population management based on the data that comes with an insurance company,” says Brennan. “We want to take the programs that Aetna has been running and utilize them to improve interactions between patients and providers in our stores – allowing our pharmacists, nurse practitioners and people who are informed about benefits to counsel patients and make sure they’re doing the right thing for their health.”