CVS Health works vigorously to expand access to high-quality, convenient and affordable women’s health care services through our MinuteClinic, retail pharmacies in communities nationwide and online or in the palm of their hand. As part of our focus on transforming the consumer health care experience, we are committed to providing women with access to the coordinated services and care they need to manage conditions and determine what is best for their health.
Providing Convenient Access to High-Quality Women’s Care
Women, who are often key in maintaining healthy families, access the health system more frequently than men, both for themselves and on behalf of their children. In turn, this means that their own health care can take a backseat to the needs of others.
Many women may find it difficult to receive care at a convenient time and location. For example, a survey conducted by Morning Consult and sponsored by CVS Health revealed that 90 percent of women consider the convenience of location important when accessing health services, while 85 percent consider flexible and extended hours important when selecting a health care facility.
Our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer a full range of essential women’s health services. These services include access to birth control, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, treatment for yeast infections and pregnancy, urinary tract and bladder infection testing. Additionally, MinuteClinic providers also help women better understand their reproductive health options and provide referrals to primary care physicians or OB/GYNs, as needed.
CVS Health also launched a MinuteClinic University Health program, aimed at addressing the health care gap when young adults leave home for school. Our MinuteClinic locations in certain geographic areas near universities and campuses offer additional services for sexual health, women’s health and well-being screenings.
Increasing Patient Access to Birth Control
Ensuring accessible and affordable medications, including birth control, is a priority at CVS Health. For example, CVS Pharmacy patients can pick up prescriptions ordered through the CVS app on their phone, online, in person at CVS retail pharmacies, or they can have their medications delivered through our home delivery program. Additionally, CVS Caremark Members can receive their prescriptions through our mail order pharmacy, and throughout our network of 68,000 retail and mail order pharmacies.
We also work with public health advocates across the country to ensure that women can be obtain a birth control prescription from their local pharmacist. Pharmacists are currently allowed to prescribe oral birth control medications through Prescriptive Authority and Collaborative Practice Agreements in 13 states and the District of Columbia – covering 2,464 CVS Pharmacy locations. And we will be able to do so in 14 more states by the end of the year.
Affordable Access in the Community
Through community partnerships and philanthropies, we are able to address some of the health challenges women face locally. The CVS Health Foundation has partnered with a variety of groups who are on the front lines of improving access to women’s health services.
For example, we’ve established a multi-year partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) with grants awarded to free and charitable clinics to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs. Today, 58 percent of NAFC patients are women – and they rely on 1,400 clinics nationwide for services including breast and cervical cancer screening, maternal and infant health and much more.
Addressing Women’s Heart Health
Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer among women and accounts for one-third of deaths annually. To address the widespread impact of this disease, we help women understand their risk for heart disease and empower them to take the next best action for their health. Throughout February 2019, we provided preventive heart health screenings at no cost in which women learned their five key personal health numbers that help determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.
Additionally, our support of the American Health Association Go Red for Women campaign, includes a new three-year, $15 million commitment to life-saving cardiovascular research and education.