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CVS Health announces actions to support health care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

April 06, 2020 | Health Insurance

A doctor supporting and counseling a patient in an examination room.

CVS Health today announced several steps to support Aetna-contracted health providers and their patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re committed to helping providers, plan sponsors and our members navigate through this unprecedented time,” said Karen S. Lynch, President, Aetna Business Unit and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “The actions we’re announcing today are designed to offer relief to our community of health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, allowing them to focus on delivering high-quality patient care.”

Actions include:

  • Commitment to prompt and accurate claim payments. CVS Health and Aetna business continuity plans ensure timely and accurate payment of claims. Provider payments will continue to be made without disruption even while Aetna supports plan sponsors with financial flexibility through this challenging economic environment.

  • Helping hospitals prioritize COVID-19 patients. Aetna changed prior authorization requirements for post-acute care hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals nationally, helping hospitals and emergency rooms make room for more patients, especially those suffering from COVID-19.

  • Enabling greater capacity with healthcare providers. Aetna is streamlining its provider credentialing process so there can be more health care professionals caring for patients.

  • Enhancing telemedicine policies to enable more providers to visit patients virtually. Aetna reimburses all providers for telemedicine at the same rate as in-person visits including behavioral services, with the exception of some telephone-only services in commercial plans.

  • Ensuring full provider reimbursements for waived member cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Aetna will pay the amount of the cost-sharing the member would have ordinarily paid related to COVID-19 testing or inpatient treatment so there is no financial impact on the provider.

  • Providing behavioral health support. Frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential workers are playing a pivotal role helping individuals and communities through the pandemic. Resources for Living®, Aetna’s employee assistance program, is offering support to solve housing and childcare issues, facilitating group counseling and providing materials on the importance of self-care, safety, and mindfulness.

These steps build on previously announced efforts to help Aetna members access the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits, in-patient treatment and expanding patient access to medications.

The company is providing the latest information on its response through its frequently-updated COVID-19 resource center.

Anyone presenting symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB® locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at