CVS Health establishes 1,000 COVID-19 test sites across the country

CVS Health establishes 1,000 COVID-19 test sites across the country
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Successfully delivers on commitment to meaningfully expand access to testing

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Delivering on a commitment the company made in April, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) will open additional COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations on Friday, May 29 to establish a total of 1,000 sites across more than 30 states and Washington, DC.

"It's no small feat to operationalize 1,000 test sites in weeks under trying circumstances, which is a credit to our employees and their unwavering commitment to being part of the solution," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. "Our testing strategy will continue to evolve and make the most effective use of our resources as we work to help safely re-open the economy."

Since first offering COVID-19 testing at a pilot site outside a CVS Pharmacy in Shrewsbury, Mass., in mid-March, the company has performed nearly 200,000 tests nationwide. Beginning in June, CVS Health has a goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity.

More than half of the company's 1,000 test sites will serve communities with the greatest need for support, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index. The index tracks a variety of census variables including poverty, lack of access to transportation, and crowded housing that may weaken a community's ability to prepare for and recover from hazardous events like natural disasters and disease outbreaks.

"Through our network of physicians, including our state and local associations/societies, we have been encouraging community members to use the hundreds of COVID-19 testing sites that CVS Health has established across the country, and have been providing information on how to slow the spread of the virus," said Dr. Oliver T. Brooks, President of the National Medical Association. "We will continue to work together to increase access to COVID-19 testing, particularly to underserved communities that are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic."

Self-swab tests at participating CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations will be available to individuals meeting CDC and state criteria who register in advance at CVS.com to schedule an appointment. Testing will not take place inside any CVS Pharmacy, MinuteClinic or HealthHUB locations, which remain open to serve customers and patients. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

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 www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

T.J. Crawford
212-457-0583
crawfordt2@aetna.com

A CVS pharmacists speaks to a customer in the drive-thru at a CVS Pharmacy location.
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Addressing food insecurity in local communities

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A volunteer (wearing a face mask) loads temperature-sensitive food into an insulated bag for distribution. A woman in a red coat observes him loading the insulated bag.

Families across the country are facing significant challenges as they work to keep people safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, for many families, these health concerns are coming hand-in-hand with an unfamiliar worry: food insecurity. Lost jobs, reduced incomes and loss of access to school lunches have left many struggling with having enough to eat. Across the country, local nonprofits are stepping up with expanded services and innovative approaches to meet the sudden surge of need in their communities — and CVS Health is joining them to help. CVS Health and The CVS Health Foundation have provided more than $900,000 to organizations in local communities working to provide food to vulnerable populations, especially school-aged children, seniors, and the uninsured.

A $250,000 grant to Feeding America supported efforts to pack and deploy emergency food boxes to high-need areas across the country, including Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, New York and Washington. These boxes will help local food banks provide children, families, and seniors with the food and nutrition they need, even as the need for food assistance increases.

A volunteer arranges pre-packaged cooked meals, in sealed containers, on a tray for distribution.

Many other organizations have developed entirely new approaches to respond to the unique needs created by COVID-19 and CVS Health is proud to support this work in the communities we serve. In Kansas City, Missouri, Feed Northland Kids received a grant of $20,000 to develop Community Food Kits. With shelf-stable foods, these kits are provided to families through in-school pantries, which will help address food insecurity among school-age children. And in Austin, Texas, a $25,000 grant to the Central Texas Food Bank helped the organization shift to a drive-through model to allow clients to still receive food while ensuring safety for clients, staff, and volunteers. Safety is a top concern at many nonprofits; Community Servings in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, used a $15,000 grant to streamline operations and continue to distribute more than 2,000 food boxes in April, even without the assistance of the as many as 75 volunteers they previously relied on each day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented need and continues to present unique challenges in meeting that need. At CVS Health, we’re proud to support the local organizations that are rising to the challenge to continue to feed their communities.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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Meeting the nutritional needs of at-risk populations

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A female volunteer pushes a cart full of food donation while wearing a face mask.

People facing serious illnesses often have specific dietary needs to support their health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, those needs are compounded in many ways. CVS Health and the CVS Health Foundation are working to support local nonprofit organizations across the country to address the challenges presented by the pandemic, with a particular emphasis on organizations helping people on their path to better health by meeting their unique nutritional needs. We have awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to support 13 community organizations across the country, providing medically-tailored meals for individuals with serious illnesses.

One such organization is God’s Love We Deliver in New York City, a community particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. Through a grant of $15,000, our support will help them continue to deliver their medically tailored meals directly to clients’ homes while accommodating the changing needs created by COVID-19. CVS Health also awarded $100,000 to the California Food is Medicine Coalition, repurposing a portion of its three-year, $40 million commitment to invest in California’s health care delivery system to respond to the pandemic. This grant will support six local sites across the state as they expand their meal services in response to the pandemic.

A female volunteer, wearing a red coat, delivers a box containing food donations to female senior citizens, who is smiling while standing in the doorway of her house.

“The grant from CVS Health enables the six California Food is Medicine Coalition (CalFIMC) agencies to increase their services — delivering thousands of nutritious meals to low-income and medically fragile Californians who are sheltered in-place and at great risk of contracting COVID-19 and more vulnerable to complications and death,” said Ann Thrupp, Director of CalFIMC. “We greatly appreciate the support CVS Health has provided CalFIMC to help respond to urgent community food needs for highly vulnerable people during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Funding for these organizations, and others like them in highly impacted areas, meet a critical need. With the support of CVS Health, these local nonprofits will continue to navigate these challenges and ensure that nutritious food gets to the members of their communities who need it most.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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Fighting COVID-19 with your wearable

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Attain by Aetna℠

Our partnership with Scripps Research uses data from wearable devices to combat viral illnesses

The use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years.https://newsroom.accenture.com/news/accenture-study-finds-growing-demand-for-digital-health-services-revolutionizing-delivery-models-patients-doctors-machines.htm Now scientists are hoping to harness information from this technology to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Our app, Attain by Aetna℠ developed for eligible Aetna members and launched last year in collaboration with Apple, provides everyday health tips and challenges on basic topics like sleep, nutrition, mindfulness, stress and activity. And with the user's consent, the app shares encrypted sensor data collected by your Apple watch with Aetna.

That shared data lets CVS Health provide messages to those members at key moments that can help them improve their health — for example, adhering to their medication routine, or providing information about affordable sites of care nearby that might be more appropriate than an emergency room.

“Over 92% of participants claim that Attain is helping them get healthier, and that is leading to early indications of better health outcomes and lower medical costs for the members.” — Ben Wanamaker, VP of Analytic Products, CVS Health
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A way to contribute to the fight against COVID-19

Now, Attain is joining a wider circle of participants by working with Scripps Research on DETECT (Digital Engagement and Tracking for early Control and Treatment) a study built off the platform Scripps Research uses for often cited 2020 flu research.

“Researchers will work with numerous partners in the digital health industry, including Fitbit, to understand if tracking individualized changes in heart rate, activity and sleep can provide an early indication of viral infections,” explains Jennifer Radin, PhD, an epidemiologist at Scripps Research.

We will be notifying current users of Attain of the opportunity to take part via in-app notifications but anyone who wears an Apple watch, Fitbit, Garmin or other wearable device can participate. Interested employees can learn how to take part in the study by visiting the DETECT study website reading an overview of the study and downloading the MyDataHelps™ mobile app.

By consenting to donate personal data, participants can not only take control of their own health, but also help public officials potentially prevent the outbreak of viral respiratory illness within their communities.

“Partnering with a credible, rigorous research institute like Scripps Research is one modest way to help us better understand and track this pandemic and maybe be better prepared for future ones,” adds Ben.

Download Attain by Aetna from the Apple® App Store today and start hitting your goals, earning rewards and forging your path to better health.You must be an Aetna® commercial medical member. You need to be at least 18. You need an iPhone®. Other eligibility and participation requirements, including certain state restrictions and exclusions, may apply.

Visit the Attain by Aetna website for more information and details.

Attain by Aetna℠
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Helping fill America’s food pantries

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Bags of food collected at the Hockomock area YMCA in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Heather once visited a food bank for her elderly neighbors. Now, she needs help feeding her family. She’s not alone.

Heather, a married mother of two, rolled down her car window, took a deep breath for courage and quietly asked the masked volunteer for an extra bag of free food.

Over the past few weeks, Heather picked up bags from the makeshift food bank at the Attleboro area Hockomock YMCA in Franklin, Massachusetts to deliver to her elderly neighbors. But today was different.

Heather was unexpectedly furloughed from her job due to COVID-19-related shutdowns — and now her own family needed help. As she took the bag full of food from the YMCA employee, she says relief spread though her body with the knowledge that her kids would have a healthy dinner that night.

“I was worried I would have to feed my kids boxed macaroni and cheese, but the bag was full of fruits and vegetables,” Heather says.

Heather’s experience with food insecurity is one of many playing out across America in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. According to an April 2020 survey from Feeding America, a national nonprofit organization with a network of more than 200 food banks and 60,000 partner organizations, an estimated 40% of people seeking donations were visiting a food bank for the first time in their life. Equally concerning: 95% of its food banks saw more people needing help compared to last year, with an average 70% increase in demand for food assistance.

Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley loading food into a vehicle.
Attleboro, Massachusetts, Hockomock area YMCA Board Chairman Mary Clermont and President Ed Hurley load food. On a recent Wednesday, 780 bags were picked up.

Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy at CVS Health, says the crisis took America by surprise and created a need for basic food and necessities in a way the country has never experienced before.

Because nearly 60% of a person’s life expectancy is influenced by social determinants of health — such as food insecurity — CVS Health has made community health and wellness central to its corporate social responsibility. The company provided a $1 million donation to support community and employee needs amid the pandemic, including $250,000 to support Feeding America.

Food insecurities also create added COVID vulnerability for the country’s most at-risk citizens — those with fewer resources, chronic health conditions and less mobility. “Food and health are closely linked, making it essential for us to help those facing food insecurity,” says Boone. “We have supported organizations of all sizes to help address that need quickly and efficiently. We are really all in this together.”

For Heather, CVS Health’s commitment is life-changing.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Coram nurses rise to the challenge during COVID-19 pandemic

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A global pandemic cannot stop Coram nurses from doing what they do best: providing critical patient care in the home or at one of our ambulatory infusion suites, helping patients avoid and prevent hospital stays, giving them the autonomy to administer their own medications, and providing emotional support. Infusion nurses not only provide important nursing care, they support, educate and reassure patients and caregivers who may be scared, anxious, and overwhelmed — something increasingly common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This National Nurses Month, we're proud to feature a few of our over 1,000 Coram nurses here.

Jeannie Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres

Jeanette (Jeannie) Collazo-Torres understands what it takes to support patients with complex conditions requiring IV-therapy — a former Coram nurse, she now works for CVS Specialty focusing on pulmonary arterial hypertension, and is also supporting the Coram team during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though she is familiar with administering and educating patients about complex therapies (called ‘teaches’), Jeannie notes that new safety guidelines, personal protective equipment (PPE), and social distancing have made patient care more complicated. "We wear the full equipment: N95 masks, gowns, gloves, and goggles," Jeannie explains. "We talk with the patients, but we can't be close to them and it can be harder to provide emotional support."

Jeannie recently met with a COVID-19 patient who had been discharged from the hospital. She could see that both the patient and family members were scared. "It can be intense and scary for patients and families, but I try to come in and set everyone's minds at ease. As a nurse I have to sense what is needed." Sometimes that's a sense of humor, she explains, and sometimes it's someone to talk to or pray with.

Martha Silverspring

Martha Silverspring

A nurse for over 35 years, Martha Silverspring has been working in IV home care since 1992. She enjoys home care nursing because every day is different, and she loves people and the relationships she has built over the years. "In IV home care nursing, you work toward a common goal, and nothing breaks down barriers like working together towards a common goal."

Her home visits may look a little different during the COVID-19 pandemic, but Martha credits Coram and CVS Health for helping her continue doing her job while staying safe. "I keep hearing about shortages of PPE elsewhere, but we've had access to what we needed from the beginning."

Chris Keller

Chris Keller

Nurse manager Chris Keller loves the challenge he describes as "air traffic control" — coordinating arrival of a delivered medication from the branch to the patient, ensuring a nurse trained in administering the specific medication can be at the patient's home after delivery, etc. "It's a lot of logistics and juggling, but I have a fantastic team of support that helps get it all done."

Chris and his team were recently put to the test when a cruise ship with several COVID-19 patients onboard arrived in his hometown of San Diego. Coram was asked to help hospital patients who needed to be discharged quickly to make room for the quarantined passengers, and Chris and his team jumped right in. "Everyone stepped up. I'm fortunate to oversee an excellent team of nurses who said 'let's do it.' We got PPE equipment delivered to our branch, packaged it up, mailed to our nurses’ homes by the next day."

Jeannie, Martha and Chris are just a few of the dedicated Coram nurses providing exceptional care and support during this unprecedented time. We thank all of our Coram nurses for their courage and commitment to helping patients get and stay well.

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The Year of the Nurse — and COVID-19

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When the World Health Organization selected 2020 as Year of the Nurse, they didn’t know nurses would be on the frontlines of a global pandemic.

But like health care professionals around the world, CVS Health and Aetna nurses are working through the challenges of COVID-19, redefining the way health care is delivered and putting people on a path to better health.

“It's really a true opportunity to show our commitment, our effort and our skill in order to help other people.” — Todd Clair, RN, MSN
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“This is when we, as nurses, are needed the most,” says Todd Clair, a nurse and Care Manager for Aetna One® Advocate. “And it's really a true opportunity to show our commitment, our effort and our skill in order to help other people.”

Watch the video to see how our nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses are showing that commitment every day.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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CVS Health delivering on commitment to establish up to 1,000 COVID-19 test sites by end of May

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First phase will see drive-thru sites open across five states this week; more than 900 additional sites will open over next two weeks

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Building on the company’s comprehensive efforts to help slow the spread of the virus, on Friday, May 15 CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) will open more than 50 COVID-19 test sites at select CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locations across Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The opening of hundreds of additional test sites across the country will be announced over the next two weeks.

The new sites will utilize self-swab tests and mark the next phase of the company’s COVID-19 testing strategy, announced April 27 at the White House. CVS Health expects to have up to 1,000 locations across the country offering this service by the end of May, with the goal of processing up to 1.5 million tests per month subject to availability of supplies and lab capacity. The company currently operates large-scale rapid test sites in coordination with five states, which can process a total of nearly 30,000 tests per week.

"While the large-scale test sites we’ve been operating since early April have proven successful, this new approach allows us to utilize our presence in communities across the country and bring testing closer to home," said Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health. "Our frontline employees will continue to play a critical role in the testing process, with members of their communities directly benefitting from their dedication and selflessness.”

Self-swab tests will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Patients must register in advance at CVS.com beginning Friday, May 15 to schedule an appointment. Patients will be required to stay in their cars and directed to the pharmacy drive-thru window where they will be provided with a test kit and given instructions, and a CVS Pharmacy team member will observe the self-swab process to ensure it is done properly. Tests will be sent to an independent, third-party lab for processing and the results will be available in approximately three days.

Testing will not take place inside any retail locations, and CVS Pharmacy, HealthHUB and MinuteClinic will continue to serve customers and patients.

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

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 www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

T.J. Crawford
212-457-0583
crawfordt2@aetna.com

Cars in queue at a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru location, waiting to take the expanded self-swab COVID-19 test. (Available at certain locations.)
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COVID-19 local community support

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COVID-19 Response Fund


Food boxes and/or nutritional support


Local community support


Medically tailored meals


Senior services and food boxes

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CVS Health extends cost-sharing waivers and announces new action to support Aetna members during the COVID-19 pandemic

CVS Health extends cost-sharing waivers and announces new action to support Aetna members during the COVID-19 pandemic
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Now covering out-of-pocket costs for primary care services for Medicare Advantage members

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it is extending a range of cost-sharing waivers and benefits to help Aetna members access the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We recognize the unique role we can play in addressing the pandemic and protecting people's health,” said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna Business Unit. “We remain committed to helping our members get the care they need without the added worry of wondering how they will pay for it. We’ll continue to invest in efforts that support our members’ physical and mental wellbeing, letting them know they are not alone during this crisis.”

For members of Aetna-insured Commercial, Medicare Advantage and applicable Medicaid plans, the company is extending all member cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for inpatient admissions for treatment of COVID-19 or health complications associated with COVID-19. Additionally, given the escalating mental health crisis resulting from or amplified by the pandemic, Aetna is extending all member cost-sharing waivers for in-network telemedicine visits for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services. These actions, which were scheduled to expire on June 1, 2020, have been extended through September 30, 2020. Aetna will continue working with self-funded plan sponsors to provide options. 

The company is also taking additional steps to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for primary care services for Medicare Advantage members. Effective from today through September 30, 2020, Aetna is waiving member out-of-pocket costs for all in-network primary care visits, whether done in-office and via telehealth, for any reason, and encourages members to continue seeking essential preventive and primary care during the pandemic.

In addition to supporting members’ access to needed care, Aetna continues to focus on protecting patient access to medication. It has extended the following actions, which were scheduled to expire on May 15, 2020, through September 30, 2020:

  • Waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits administered through CVS Caremark.

  • Continuing to encourage all members of Commercial, Medicare and Medicaid plans to take advantage of plan benefits for 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions.

Aetna continues to work closely with customers to offer flexible plan designs, including dental, and solutions to help reduce the financial burden many are facing today.

These announcements build on CVS Health’s overall efforts to help members, customers, providers and communities navigate through this public health emergency. More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

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 https://www.cvshealth.com.

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