Columbus-based Dedicated Senior Medical Centers founded and operated by ChenMed in partnership with OhioHealth establish relationship with Aetna

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Three Columbus primary care locations accepting Aetna HMO and PPO Medicare Advantage members

COLUMBUS, OhioDedicated Senior Medical Center (“Dedicated”) and Aetna today announced that Aetna Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members in the Columbus, Ohio Metro area have a new quality provider option. Those enrolled in Aetna HMO and PPO MA plans can now receive covered services from Dedicated.

Dedicated provides personalized services and value-based care to Medicare-eligible people with a focus on seniors age 65 or older. Its primary care doctors welcome scheduled and walk-in appointments. They also share their mobile phone numbers with patients for when health needs arise. Dedicated promotes smooth transitions of care through coordination with OhioHealth.

Dedicated centers are operated by ChenMed. Several months ago, ChenMed opened three Dedicated centers in underserved areas of Columbus. ChenMed expects thousands of people to soon benefit from care at the north (2260 Morse Road), east (Whitehall; 5156 East Main Street) and west (Hilltop; 50 North Wilson Road) Dedicated locations.

Aetna’s work with providers like ChenMed aligns with its aim to support seniors in underserved, diverse and low-income areas. Besides the three Ohio clinics, Aetna contracts with ChenMed centers in Florida and Pennsylvania.

“ChenMed gives our Medicare Advantage members access to quality, value-based care across the country,” said Charles Brown, Aetna’s Chief Medicare Officer of Ohio and Kentucky markets. “The three Ohio clinics help us serve Aetna Medicare Advantage plan members through personalized and coordinated care.”

The Dedicated centers provide the access to care patients expect. This includes timely appointments, longer office visits and on-site specialists. They also provide X-rays, echocardiograms, ultrasounds and medication dispensing. Transportation is also available to patients when they need it.

The Dedicated concept is simple and particularly beneficial to seniors age 65 or older, many of whom live with chronic health issues. “The more our doctors see their patients, the better they know them,” notes Paul Hicks, M.D., MSHCM, Associate Chief Medical Officer for the Dedicated centers in Columbus. “And, like all ChenMed doctors, we earn trust every day by helping people stay healthy with preventive care that’s highly personalized.”

ChenMed plans to help improve the health of people at nearly 80 medical centers in 10 states, by the end of August 2020. ChenMed medical records show primary care doctors in their clinics average 10 times more face time with patients than a typical doctor does. Instead of the national average of 21.7 minutes of direct time with patients yearlySource: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/namcs_summary/2016_namcs_web_tables.pdf, 2016 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey; Mean time spent with internal medicine physician., ChenMed doctors average more than 210 minutes annually.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health company, serves an estimated 38 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Aetna Medicare is a HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. See Evidence of Coverage for a complete description of plan benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. Other physicians and providers are available in our network. The provider may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Participating physicians, hospitals and other health care providers are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Aetna. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed, and provider network composition is subject to change.

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church. Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007 to 2019.

Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 30,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.

OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.

About ChenMed

For seniors most in need of care, high-quality health care often is beyond reach. ChenMed brings concierge-style medicine — and better health outcomes — to the neediest populations. ChenMed is a privately owned medical, management and technology company that currently operates 59 primary care medical practices for diverse populations of seniors. ChenMed brands include Chen Senior Medical Center, Dedicated Senior Medical Center, and JenCare Senior Medical Center.

Results of ChenMed’s high-touch approach to primary care are impressive, as illustrated in the Modern Healthcare cover story (October 20, 2018), which reports, “Indeed, ChenMed's approach has resulted in 50 percent fewer hospital admissions compared with a standard primary-care practice, 28 percent lower per-member costs and significantly higher use of evidence-based medications.”

Inspired by ChenMed Chairman and Founder James Chen, M.D., Ph.D., the company has been serving low-to-moderate-income seniors with multiple complex chronic conditions for over 30 years. Learn more about the high-growth company by visiting www.ChenMed.com.

Media Contacts

Robert Joyce
CVS Health
860-273-3965
JoyceR@Aetna.com

Mark Hopkins
OhioHealth
614-309-8674
Mark.Hopkins@ohiohealth.com

Jim Brown
Dedicated Senior Medical Center, ChenMed
305-310-7214
James.Brown@ChenMed.com

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Aetna Medicaid Launches New Approach To Integrated Care Supporting Children And Their Families

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New training model helps build strong and healthy relationships for children and caregivers

HARTFORD, Conn. Aetna Medicaid, a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), today announced the launch of its Child and Family Welfare (CFW) training model. This new resource leverages a whole-person, whole-family approach to physical, behavioral and social well-being for all children and families involved with Child Protection Systems. Additionally, it emphasizes primary prevention and early intervention benefits across a variety of issues.

"Our Child and Family Welfare model is designed to serve as both an internal training and development tool for our staff, as well as a program guide to support community stakeholders," said Taira Green-Kelley, vice president of Medicaid Growth at Aetna. "As a company, we developed best practices to help transform interactions with youth and families engaged in the CFW system, changing the way we view health care standards, while becoming more integrated in our members' lives at home, in school, at work, in the community, and throughout life."

Aetna's Child and Family Welfare model reflects its work and success in bringing together state and local entities within the CFW arena. In many cases, there are children who experience numerous difficulties, including trauma and toxic stress. These children are more likely to have learning, health and behavioral issues, and can be at a higher risk for premature sexual activity and adolescent pregnancy. If not addressed, the effects of multiple traumatic life experiences may impact the family for generations. With this model, Aetna employees and community stakeholders will learn ways to identify, reduce and address sources of stress among families, working to strengthen skills that help build stronger familial bonds and healthy relationships.

Recently, the State of West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources selected Aetna Better Health of West Virginia as the sole winner of the State's new program, Specialized Managed Care for Children and Youth. In addition, last fall, Aetna Better Health of Kansas collaborated with the State of Kansas and Department for Children and Families on a "Family Finding Boot Camp" a four-day training designed to empower roughly 100 key stakeholders to take action and create meaningful changes in the lives of young individuals. Due to the overwhelming positive responses from attendees, a second boot camp is planned for February 18 through 21 in Kansas City with an anticipated 250 child welfare professionals scheduled to attend. This work clearly demonstrates Aetna's commitment to both children and their families throughout local communities.

Green-Kelley added, "We understand the impact CFW services can play in providing more holistic care and achieving positive outcomes with members. Now, we may support and promote the health of children by customizing our approach to individual families with the assistance of network providers, as we look to implement a new future standard for managed care organizations across the industry."

About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health business, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. For more information, see www.aetnabetterhealth.com.

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Katherine Wetzel
404-859-0703
wetzelk@aetna.com

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CVS Health Announces Changes to Support Innovation and Growth

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced a series of leadership assignments to support the company's continued focus on innovation and strategic growth.

"We have set a clear and bold path for CVS Health to be the most consumer-centric health company and transform the way care is delivered, and we have laid a strong foundation for growth following more than a year of successfully integrating the Aetna business," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. "As we continue to innovate and execute we will stay close to the markets we serve and respond to the needs of our clients. The assignments announced today place our leaders in areas where their unique experience and deep business relationships will help us deliver on our core growth initiatives and transformation strategies."

CVS Health leadership assignments include:

  • Alan Lotvin, M.D., Executive Vice President at CVS Health, has been appointed President of CVS Caremark, and will also have oversight of CVS Specialty and CVS Kidney Care. Lotvin has deep experience in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) business, with expertise in specialty pharmacy. With the growing importance of specialty medicines and gene therapy management, he is uniquely positioned to lead the company's next wave of growth in this area. Lotvin previously led CVS Health's transformation efforts.

  • Jonathan Mayhew has been appointed Executive Vice President, Transformation, and will be responsible for the transformation product portfolio. Mayhew has diverse health care experience, most recently serving as Senior Vice President for the Aetna Markets organization. He has a demonstrated track record of building and growing businesses to serve needs in the marketplace and is uniquely positioned to bring CVS Health's
    transformation products to life across the company's open access platform.

  • Alec Cunningham has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Aetna business and will lead an expanded organization that will focus on Medicare Advantage and government programs overall an area of growing importance. Cunningham joined CVS Health last year from Concerto Healthcare, a leading provider organization that serves dual-eligible, Medicare, Medicaid, and complex medical needs patients.

  • Derica Rice, Executive Vice President and President, CVS Caremark, will depart CVS Health. Derica will remain with the company through February to help ensure a seamless transition.

"I want to thank Derica for his leadership during a period of significant growth and evolution for our PBM business, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," said Merlo. "I am confident we are driving a sea change in how our key stakeholders think about us, and how consumers partner with us to take control of their health. These new assignments will accelerate that process."

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 http://www.cvshealth.com.

Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of CVS Health Corporation. Statements in this press release that are forward-looking include our statements concerning the impact of leadership assignments on our ability to deliver on our growth initiatives and transformation strategies and our future responses to the needs of our clients. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the section entitled "Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on CVS Health's forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management's then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance, and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. CVS Health does not assume any duty to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, as of any future date.

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Valerie Haertel
CVS Health
401-770-4050
Valerie.Haertel@CVSHealth.com

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T.J. Crawford
CVS Health
212-457-0583
CrawfordT2@aetna.com

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CVS Health Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2019 Results, Reflecting Strong Execution Across the Enterprise

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CVS Health Invests $67 Million in Affordable Housing Across the Country in 2019

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Company plans to exceed that amount in 2020 to help address housing insecurities and promote community health improvement

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To help provide support to underserved populations across the country, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) invested $67 million in affordable housing in 2019. The investments helped to create more than 2,200 affordable homes with supportive services for individuals and families across 24 cities in six states.

CVS Health's investments in affordable housing as well as collaborations with community groups in these areas help provide support for at-risk individuals. Through the 2019 investments, nearly 300 Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units will be made available for residents who are victims of domestic violence, experiencing homelessness, affected by chronic illness, requiring behavioral health and addiction treatment or are challenged by similar life and health situations. There are 450 additional units dedicated to housing seniors, 59 units reserved specifically for veterans and their families, and 38 units dedicated to housing American Indian individuals and their families.

"Providing affordable housing options to people who are facing significant challenges can be their first step on a path to better health," said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna Business Unit. "However, we understand that more support is often needed - that is why we work with community organizations to provide access to services such as independent living skills, cooking and nutrition, financial literacy, health information classes, resident outreach and engagement, client centered treatment plans and social support."

Efforts to address housing insecurity are a core part of Destination: Health, a series of CVS Health business programs focused on helping people improve their health outside of a clinical setting.

Since 1997, CVS Health and Aetna, a CVS Health company, have combined to invest more than $1 billion in affordable housing and community investments. These investments have led to the building and renovation of over 93,000 affordable rental units, positively impacting hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals, families, and seniors.

Commitment to California

While CVS Health has invested in affordable housing in different locations across the country, California is a specific focus of the investment strategy.

"We have made more than $160 million of affordable housing investments in California over the past twenty years, including nearly $50 million in the past two years alone," said Kristen Miranda, California Market President for Aetna, a CVS Health company. "These investments are helping to address the unique needs of residents in California, helping to improve health at both the individual and community level. We will continue to look for opportunities where we can invest to support those who need it the most throughout the state."

Recent examples of investments in California include:

  • In February 2020, in partnership with CREA, LLC, CVS Health is closing an $8.1M commitment to finance the development of 85 affordable housing units in collaboration with the East LA Community Corporation (ELACC) and New Directions for Veterans (New Directions). 63 units are reserved for people experiencing homelessness (44 specifically for veterans). Through our work with ELACC and New Directions, residents will have access to services such as after school tutoring, employment services, substance use treatment, legal assistance, peer support and advocacy and medication management.

  • On February 14, 2020, CVS Health is sponsoring the grand opening of Sequoia Commons in Goshen, CA, a 66-unit low-income community made possible by funding support from CVS Health, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Red Stone Equity Partners and Pacific Western Bank. CVS Health is collaborating with the developer, Self Help Enterprises, to help provide a robust program of on-site resident services, including job training, health and medical services, financial training and homebuyer education.

  • In December 2019, CVS Health closed on a $25 million commitment to Red Stone Equity 2019 CA Regional Fund, L.P., an investment fund designed to construct and/or rehabilitate over 500 units of affordable housing in five cities throughout California. These units will be offered to a wide range of individuals, including those requiring mental health services, seniors, as well as veterans and their families.

  • In November 2019, CVS Health sponsored the grand opening of Bishop Street Studios in San Luis Obispo, CA, an abandoned orphanage that was transformed into 33 affordable Permanent Supportive Housing units for individuals with mental health issues through funding support from CVS Health, the Transitions-Mental Health Association (THMA) and the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo.

Investments Across the Country

In addition to California, CVS Health's 2019 affordable housing investments were spread across the country to locations in Georgia, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Oregon and Texas. In 2020, CVS Health expects to surpass 2019 investment totals and the number of states impacted, with $25 million committed to investments in Ohio and another $50 million in investments currently being underwritten coast to coast.

Some of these investments will have grand openings during 2020, helping local community members with access to new affordable housing options. Examples include the following investments made in partnership with Hunt Capital Partners, LLC:

  • Mistletoe Station in Fort Worth, TX, a new 74-unit affordable housing development including units set aside for veterans, farm workers, women experiencing violence, persons with disabilities, HIV/AIDS diagnoses or who are experiencing homeless.

  • Union Landing Apartments in Union City, GA, a new 240-unit development helping Fulton County's low to moderate income individuals and families access affordable housing and services.

"We recognize the strong connection between housing and health," said Keli Savage, Head of Impact Investment Strategy, CVS Health. "We are focused on cultivating the right relationships with community organizations across the country and combining strategic investments in housing with services to address the specific needs of our communities."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

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Ethan Slavin
860-273-6095
SlavinE@aetna.com

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CVS Health Corporation To Hold Fourth Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Health Corporation ("CVS Health" or the "Company") (NYSE: CVS) will hold a conference call with analysts and investors on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019.

An audio webcast of the conference call will be broadcast simultaneously through the Investor Relations portion of the CVS Health website for all interested parties. To access the webcast, visit http://investors.cvshealth.com. This webcast will be archived and available on the website for a one-year period following the conference call.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

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CVS Health Announces Upcoming Changes to Board of Directors

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Board Will Transition from 16 to 13 Directors

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced upcoming changes to its Board of Directors (the "Board"). Richard "Dick" Swift, Richard Bracken and Mark Bertolini will not stand for reelection at the company's 2020 Annual Meeting. The Board will then be reduced from 16 to 13 directors in order to further align with corporate governance best practices.

Mr. Swift, the former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Foster Wheeler Ltd., will be retiring from the Board after having reached the mandatory retirement age. He has served as a director of CVS Health since September 2006.

Mr. Bracken, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HCA Inc. and HCA Holdings, Inc., will be leaving the Board and retiring from board service after a 45 year career in health care to spend more time on personal interests. He has served as a director since January 2015.

Mr. Bertolini, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Inc., became a director upon the November 2018 closing of CVS Health's acquisition of Aetna. Following the successful integration of the Aetna business, Mr. Bertolini will not continue as a member of the Board after the Annual Meeting.

David W. Dorman, Chair of the Board, stated, "We want to thank each of these highly accomplished individuals for their service to the company and wish them all the best in the future. We particularly want to thank Dick and Richard for the tremendous leadership and expertise each brought to the Board during their many years of service, including Dick's role as Chair of the Audit Committee and Richard's role as Chair of the Medical Affairs Committee. The Board would also like to thank Mark for his contribution to the successful integration of Aetna."

Dorman continued, "CVS Health is successfully executing against its strategy of becoming the world's most consumer-centric health care company. As the organization continues to evolve, the remaining directors of the Board and I have the utmost confidence in the strength of the current management team, the progress the company has shown to date and ability of CVS Health to deliver value to all stakeholders moving forward."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of CVS Health Corporation. By their nature, all forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons as described in our Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings, including those set forth in the Risk Factors section and under the section entitled "Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements" in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and in our most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Investor Contact

Valerie Haertel
CVS Health
401-770-4050
Valerie.Haertel@CVSHealth.com

Media Contact

T.J. Crawford
CVS Health
212-457-0583
CrawfordT2@aetna.com

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CVS Health Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

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CVS Health is continuously monitoring the international coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and reviewing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO). To date, business travel for CVS Health and Aetna colleagues to and from China has been suspended. Our Aetna International offices in China are open, but employees are encouraged to work from home until Sunday, February 16. All other international offices remain open, and we are operating business as usual. We will determine whether to expand these policies to other business units in coming days and continue to work closely with our colleagues in these locations to keep them informed as the situation progresses.

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CVS Health Responds to Recent News on Pharmacy Workplace Concerns

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We fundamentally disagree with the recent assertion in The New York Times that patient safety is at risk in America’s pharmacies. Working in a pharmacy is a difficult and demanding job. Every day, our pharmacists are trusted with the health and safety of patients across the country who are seeking to get well and stay healthy. It’s a job that takes dedication, precision, and most importantly, heart, as we seek to provide care that extends beyond the dispensing of medication.

Patient safety is our highest priority. Everyone at CVS Health, including our more than 30,000 pharmacists, approaches this responsibility with the utmost seriousness and dedication. We work hard, every day, to earn the trust of our patients and customers as we help them on their path to better health.

Despite our excellent safety record, we are committed to continually improving. We’ve made important strides, including using technology to enhance accuracy, regularly measuring the quality of our pharmacy services and, most importantly, listening to and valuing the feedback of our pharmacists.

The practice of pharmacy is rapidly evolving. It’s not just about filling prescriptions anymore, and patients expect pharmacists to play a larger role in their health care. Our pharmacists keep patients healthy through immunization administration, adherence coaching, and clinical interventions. That is why we are fierce advocates for expanding the number and role of pharmacy technicians at our stores. Qualified and trained pharmacy technicians allow pharmacists to have more time to provide patient care, answer questions about medications and serve as true health care counselors.

CVS Health’s mission is to make quality health care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. Our retail pharmacies are at the forefront of this effort in communities all across the country. The vast majority of our employees – including pharmacists – are proud be a part of this transformation. We know safety and employee satisfaction are central to our success, and we will continue to find ways to constantly improve both.

Here’s a look at some of the improvements we’ve made:

Advocacy for Additional Pharmacy Resources

As part of our continued commitment to safety and to supporting our pharmacy teams, CVS Health has been on the forefront of advocating for states to increase pharmacy technician to pharmacist ratios. By allowing additional pharmacy technicians behind the counter, we are able to ensure that we are safely and effectively filling prescriptions, and most importantly, that pharmacists are able to provide more effective patient care and counseling.

Innovation and Technology

We’ve invested millions of dollars in technology over the past several years to automate and streamline both prescription and non-prescription filling tasks to enhance the level of care we provide. One of the best examples is electronic prescribing, which is up more than 500% since 2015 and comprises more than 70% of new prescriptions we fill. While prescription errors are very rare, when they do occur the majority happen during the data entry process. By automating 90% of data entry for e-prescriptions, we’re preventing human error and improving efficiency.

While the automation of electronic prescriptions has resulted in a reduction of some pharmacy labor hours, it has improved safety and allows our pharmacy staff to concentrate on patient-centric work.

We’ve also moved from an alphabetic to a numeric pick-up system to create an additional layer of patient safety and redesigned the pharmacist prescription verification screen to enable our pharmacists to more easily identify potential quality issues.

Measurement = Improvement

Quality health care must be safe, effective, and efficient for patients to achieve their best possible health outcomes, which is why we measure the quality of services our pharmacies provide. Accountability for our pharmacists is important, and our use of metrics mirrors what’s commonly used throughout the health care industry. Over the past 18 months we’ve focused in further by narrowing the number of metrics we measure in half, providing us with a clearer picture of what’s working and where improvements may be needed.

We constantly monitor prescription volume and make changes to our staffing levels as volume changes.

Encouraging Employee Feedback

We value the feedback of our pharmacists and take individual, legitimate concerns seriously. We have a firm non-retaliation policy in place for any employee, including our pharmacists, who want to voice a concern. We provide numerous resources for employees to report concerns, and they can do so anonymously. We want to hear feedback, suggestions and concerns as part of our commitment to continual improvement.

Last year, we conducted a survey of all of our pharmacists to gauge their perspective on the culture of patient safety in their pharmacies, and the overwhelming majority of responses were positive. Another factor that indicates job satisfaction among CVS pharmacists is our extremely low turnover rate, which has decreased over the past three years.

When a pharmacist has a legitimate concern about working conditions, we make every effort to address that concern in good faith. That said, there is no profession or industry that is immune from having dissatisfied employees, especially during a period of transformational change. That’s why we’re committed to partnering with our pharmacy teams to help them manage change as effectively as possible.

90-Day Supply: Options and Benefits

Patients can benefit in several ways when they switch from a 30-day supply of their prescription to a 90-day supply:

  • Convenience of reduced trips to the pharmacy and access to medication as soon as they need it;

  • Better medication adherence through taking their medication more regularly with shorter gaps between refills; and

  • Savings from moving from three 30-day copays to one 90-day copay.

Only certain medications are eligible for 90-day supplies. Patients who enroll in our 90-day program can opt-out at any time or choose which eligible prescriptions to move on or off the program. We do not switch 30-day prescriptions that have no refills to a 90-day supply without contacting the prescribing physician for approval; in addition, we maintain a prescriber exclusion list that will prevent prescriptions from being transitioned to a 90-day supply, and continually update that list to accommodate prescriber preferences.

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CVS Health RxZERO Solution Eliminates Member Out-of-Pocket Costs for Diabetes Medications

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New plan design from CVS Caremark eliminates member cost as a barrier to medication adherence without raising costs for benefits plan sponsors or increasing premiums or deductibles

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced a new solution eliminating member out-of-pocket costs associated with all diabetes prescription medications, including insulin. Offered through the company's pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), CVS Caremark, RxZERO enables employers and health plan sponsors to leverage formulary and plan design approaches to offer all categories of diabetes medications at zero dollar out of pocket for their members without raising costs for the plan sponsor or increasing premiums or deductibles for all plan members.

"Eliminating out-of-pocket costs for diabetes medications ensures long-term affordability, improves adherence, and most importantly, puts patients on the path to better health," said Troyen A. Brennen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "A person living with diabetes is required to take many tasks to manage their condition annually. Unfortunately, that can include making difficult decisions about whether they can afford their medications and fill their prescriptions."

CVS Caremark analysis shows that members taking branded diabetes medications spend on average, $467.24 out-of-pocket per year, with nearly 12 percent spending over $1,000 annually. The new RxZERO plan design enables plan sponsors to eliminate member out of-pocket costs for the entire diabetes therapeutic area including oral medications for Type 2 diabetes and fully adhere to American Diabetes Association standards.

"There are more than 30 million Americans living with diabetes, and far too many of them are struggling to manage their diabetes because of the high cost of diabetes prescription medications," said Kelly Mueller, Vice President of Community Impact for the American Diabetes Association. "The American Diabetes Association is committed to helping those living with diabetes thrive, and accessing the medications they need is critical. We are hopeful that by eliminating out-of-pocket costs for diabetes medications, CVS Health will remove one of the barriers many people face that prevent them from managing their diabetes successfully."

"Traditionally, the focus of affordability for diabetes medications has been on insulin, which is the cornerstone of therapy for the five percent of people with diabetes who are living with type 1 diabetes," said Brennan. "RxZERO provides affordable options for the entire range of diabetes medications, improving affordability for the 95 percent of people with diabetes who are living with type 2 diabetes."

CVS Health believes that eliminating out-of-pocket costs for diabetes drugs could be an important feature to all health plan sponsors, to help address the growing diabetes epidemic without increasing other costs such as deductibles and premiums. CVS Caremark research demonstrates that by leveraging formulary and plan design approaches, plan sponsors can eliminate member out-of-pocket costs for all categories of diabetes medications without raising costs for the plan sponsor, or increasing premiums or deductibles. The analysis demonstrates the approach leads to savings for plan sponsors through improved adherence and a reduction in overall medical costs.

This solution, detailed in a CVS Health white paper, A Prescription for Better Diabetes Management, is part of CVS Health's integrated approach to chronic care management and commitment to making care more affordable, local and easier to navigate. CVS Health also provides supportive care at its MinuteClinic and new HealthHUB store format that features a broader range of health care services to help patients better manage chronic conditions and complement the care that patients receive from their primary care physicians.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact

Trey Hollern
401-430-6717
trey.hollern@cvshealth.com

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