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CVS Health and RUSH collaborate to increase health care access for Chicago-area Medicare patients

January 23, 2023 |4 minute read time

Young woman taking her older relative's blood pressure

Agreement establishes new Accountable Care collaboration that emphasizes health equity, coordinated care and improved access

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2023 — CVS Accountable Care Organization, Inc., a division of the CVS Health® family of businesses (NYSE: CVS), today announced it has entered into a collaboration with RUSH University System for Health (RUSH) to expand access for Medicare patients to RUSH clinical services in the Chicago area. The collaboration is based on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) redesigned direct contracting model, ACO Realizing Equity, Access, and Community Health (REACH)1.

The collaboration enables patients seeking health services at various ACO REACH-participating MinuteClinic® locations in Chicago and Evanston to access care with RUSH and other ACO REACH entities for follow-up primary and specialty care. MinuteClinic locations offer in-person and virtual care seven days a week, with same-day appointments and extended hours.

“RUSH is honored and excited to work with CVS Health,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, RUSH President and Chief Executive Officer. “This provides another option for patients at a time when access to high-quality health care is more important than ever. It will help strengthen care coordination for patients, while enabling them to receive services convenient to where they live and work.”

To fulfill the organizations’ shared commitment to delivering accessible, affordable, coordinated and equitable care, RUSH will be the only Chicago-area academic medical center participant in CVS ACO REACH’s first Accountable Care Organization (ACO) based on the REACH model. ACO REACH prioritizes health equity and the reduction of unnecessary medical costs by moving patients away from Medicare’s fee-for-service system and toward value-based care.

“As part of CVS Health’s care delivery strategy, we are engaging our assets on behalf of this ACO REACH population to help drive high-quality outcomes, promote health equity, and bring health care costs down,” said Mohamed Diab, CEO, CVS Accountable Care Organization, noting CVS Health's omnichannel care model that focuses on expanding virtual and in-person services in community-based MinuteClinic and HealthHUB™ locations. “Our strategic alignment with RUSH has the potential to help improve longitudinal care for their Medicare population of 35,000 beneficiaries.”

The agreement builds on RUSH’s successes in the Medicare Shared Savings Program to ensure patients have access to equitable, accessible and high-quality care. Over the last two years, RUSH has led the way in value-based care among Chicago-area academic health organizations.

Customized support will be offered for Medicare patients who need it, including home-based care, transportation support for annual wellness visits, cost sharing to help with co-pays and other enhanced services and incentives.

Both CVS Health and RUSH have longstanding commitments to reducing inequities that drive unequal health outcomes. CVS Health is committed to advancing health equity for its customers, colleagues, clients and communities by improving trust, health care access and quality of health for every population it serves.

“In every part of our business at CVS Health, we ensure that culturally competent care is integrated into the design and development of new population health initiatives, products and services,” Diab said. “Our new ACO REACH work and collaboration with RUSH is another example of our focus on improving health equity.”

Recognizing the injustice of growing gaps in health outcomes, locally and nationally, RUSH in 2019 became one of the first academic health systems to make health equity a strategic priority. 

“RUSH has a long-held commitment to improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Lateef. “This agreement reflects that strong commitment and a terrific opportunity to build upon that foundation of strong community-based programs and partnerships and have impact for patients on day one.”

About CVS Health

CVS Health® is the leading health solutions company, delivering care like no one else can. We reach more people and improve the health of communities across America through our local presence, digital channels and over 300,000 dedicated colleagues — including more than 40,000 physicians, pharmacists, nurses and nurse practitioners. Wherever and whenever people need us, we help them with their health — whether that’s managing chronic diseases, staying compliant with their medications, or accessing affordable health and wellness services in the most convenient ways. We help people navigate the health care system – and their personal health care – by improving access, lowering costs and being a trusted partner for every meaningful moment of health. And we do it all with heart, each and every day. Follow @CVSHealth on social media.

About RUSH

RUSH University System for Health brings together the brightest minds in medicine, research and academics. Driven by discovery, innovation and a deep responsibility for the health of our communities, RUSH is a national leader in outstanding patient care, education, research, community partnerships and empowering a new generation of health care providers.

RUSH University Medical Center is ranked among the top hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Medical Center was also ranked No. 4 in the nation by Vizient and named a Top Teaching Hospital by The Leapfrog Group.

RUSH includes RUSH University Medical Center, RUSH University, RUSH Copley Medical Center and RUSH Oak Park Hospital and numerous outpatient care facilities, as well as an extensive provider network that includes more than 140 physician practices. RUSH University comprises four colleges: RUSH Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.

Media contact

Kathleen Biesecker
Phone: 703-472-8466

RUSH contact

Tobin Klinger
Phone: 224-571-6542

1 The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.