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By the Numbers: The State of U.S. Health Care

December 19, 2018 | Community

With a presence in 10,000 communities nationwide, CVS Health is focused on bringing positive change to Americans’ health care. As part of this effort, we are committed to understanding how Americans perceive the current system and identifying potential solutions to their most pressing needs.

CVS Health recently partnered with Morning Consult to gauge how Americans view aspects of the health care system. Consistent with findings from our 2017 survey, more than half of Americans (59 percent) believe that the health care system does not work well for them. And while 87 percent are currently satisfied with their health plans, most say they would like their care to be less expensive, simplified and more innovative.

At CVS Health, we believe that by putting patients at the center of their health care, we have the ability to improve engagement and drive down costs. As we work to transform health care, we’ll continue to seek opportunities to reduce the complexity and cost burdens that Americans face today.

Addressing Rising Health Care Costs

The cost of care is cited as the primary reason Americans don’t believe the health care system is working well, with just 31 percent of Americans reporting that their health care is affordable. What’s more is that 41 percent of Americans rank the affordability of prescription drugs as their most pressing concern with the health care system – a seven percentage point increase from 2017. At CVS Health, we recognize that one of the most important things we can do is help people adhere to their medications, which improves overall health and lowers costs.

As a pharmacy benefit manager, we work diligently to negotiate discounts from drug manufacturers, and to deploy a variety of tools to ensure our members receive high-quality pharmacy care at the lowest possible cost. For example, drug price growth for our own clients was only 0.2 percent on a per capita basis in 2017, despite list price inflation of nearly 10 percent.

We have also deployed solutions to expand visibility into prescription drug costs to ensure patients are getting the most appropriate medicine at the lowest cost – starting at the point of prescribing and culminating at the pharmacy counter. Our real-time benefits program gives prescribers access to covered benefits and the price patients will pay out-of-pocket under their benefits plan for a specific drug, providing average savings of $120-$130 per filled prescription. In our 9,800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, our Rx Savings Finder tool helps patients save $420 annually by enabling our pharmacists to review their prescription regimen, medication history and benefit plans to identify the lowest cost, clinically appropriate medication available.

Making Health Care Easier to Use

Navigating health care can be complex. Sixty-eight percent of Americans state that the current system is confusing or difficult. We believe that health care cannot be simplified with a one-size-fits-all approach. The integration of CVS Health and Aetna will enable us to make health care more personal and easier to use for patients.

Through our combination of data and expertise, we can make an often complicated and confusing system more connected and simple. By fully integrating Aetna’s medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s community locations, we’ll have a strengthened ability to provide Americans with counseling and guidance they need to need to navigate their health care.

For example, when a patient living with a chronic disease comes to pick up their medications, we will be there with additional resources and counsel to help them better manage their overall health and well-being in a much more coordinated fashion.

Innovative Solutions for the Future Health Care System

When asked about the future health care system, 47 percent of Americans believe it is important to develop innovative health care solutions. By delivering the combined capabilities of CVS Health and Aetna, we have the ability to transform Americans’ health care experience and build healthier communities through a new health care model that is more patient-centric and less expensive.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.