Path to Better Heath Study 2020: Increasing appetite for technology-enabled care

Bottom of the article

The use of technology across the health care continuum has been rising at a rapid rate. As a result of COVID-19, the pace of technological transformation will only quicken and greatly influence the future of care delivery.

Read the full Path to Better Health Study 2020.

An unknown female patient utilizes a video conferencing tool on a laptop computer to communicate with her physician.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
Off
Assets
CSR Pillars
Audience

Path to Better Heath Study 2020: Importance of accessibility and affordability

Bottom of the article

Delivering accessible, high-quality care at any time is a key health care priority — and has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to our study, consumers agree, with 92% indicating that it was very or somewhat important that health care be convenient.

Read the full Path to Better Health Study 2020.

A mature man sits in a brightly-lit living room, looking out of a window.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
Off
Assets
CSR Pillars
Audience

Keeping students safe

Bottom of the article

At Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, campus life is different this semester. Masks are required everywhere; signs are posted all around — even by the pool — discouraging close gatherings. 

Second-year psychology student Rorie Good says several factors influenced her return, including a chance to have the full college experience — and Lynn’s plan for COVID-19 testing. “After weighing the risks and feeling like Lynn was handling it pretty well, I decided that it would be good to come back,” she says.

Colleges and universities face clear challenges this year: Across the country, COVID-19 outbreaks have become a public health threat on and off campuses. Eighteen- to 25-year-olds also represent around 26 percent of new COVID-19 infections — more than any other group — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lynn University Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Christian Boniforti says his school’s main challenge is balancing safety and health issues with students’ expectations for an academic experience that reflects college life. 

Lynn University Chief Strategy and Technology Officer Christian Boniforti wearing a mask in conversation with a woman wearing a mask and social distancing.
Chris Boniforti says Lynn University has avoided a COVID-19 outbreak in part because of testing protocols

Testing was critical, so Lynn signed on with Return Ready, a customizable, scalable COVID-19 testing solution provided by CVS Health for college campuses and businesses. It allows students and employees to schedule a test anytime, at no cost, with results in minutes. The program also allows Lynn to do surveillance testing when positive cases arise.

“Because the testing results are done so quickly, it allows us to make decisions earlier, which ultimately helps control outbreaks and reduce the quarantine times,” Boniforti says.

Return Ready builds on CVS Health’s nationwide community-based COVID-19 testing infrastructure. The company has administered over five million COVID-19 tests since March and has about 4,000 testing sites across the country.

With Lynn — like every Return Ready partner — they started with a consultation, says Sree Chaguturu, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president for CVS Caremark. “We also work with a client to ensure that all of the reporting and analytics are provided to local and state health authorities as needed for regulatory compliance, as well as reporting back to the client so that they have timely analytics to help them understand testing trends,” he says.

While Lynn University had some positive cases, Boniforti says the school has avoided an outbreak, thanks in large part to testing and protocols: “Having a partner to do those things really allows us to focus our efforts on continuing to provide a safe learning environment for student activities and education.”

A healthcare worker taking the temperature of a young male student
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
3
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Locations
Audience
Narrative themes

Healthy Conversations, Episode 3: COVID-19 Reset

Top of the article

Welcome to Healthy Conversations, an open discussion among healthcare professionals about the latest innovations, what we've learned on the front lines of the pandemic, and how our industry is changing in real time. There might not be a specific moment when we can hit the reset button and start to tackle systemic healthcare challenges with a clean slate, but smaller resets are already underway. Join us as we examine what a COVID-19 Reset looks like for doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

We spoke with Dr. Rushika Fernandopulle, founder and CEO of Iora Health, about how physicians have addressed the pandemic in their own practices and the changing perceptions around value based care. You can find Dr. Fernandopulle’s full interview in the accompanying podcast (below) episode.

As discussed earlier in this series, COVID-19 is causing us to rethink and readjust how we deliver care. Broader systemic change starts within individual systems. For insight into how CVS is changing its own systems, we spoke to Dr. Dan Knecht and Angie Meoli.

One of the most eye-opening impacts of COVID-19 has been the dramatic disparities highlighted in our healthcare system. Dr. Dela Taghipour and Dr. Nadia Abuelezam will discuss how we can collectively reimagine community healthcare to address those disparities.

Subscribe to the Healthy Conversations podcast

Tune in to Healthy Conversations wherever you listen to all your favorite podcasts.

Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify
Healthy Conversations
A medical technician, wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE), swabs an unknown female patient’s nose during a COVID-19 test.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
2
Display Hero
Off
Assets
CSR Pillars
Audience

Healthy Conversations, Episode 2: COVID-19 Recovery

Hidden (not displayed)

In the second episode of Healthy Conversations — an open discussion among healthcare professionals about innovation, what we're learning on the front lines of this pandemic, and how our industry is changing in real time — we turn our attention to Recovery. Data is critical in addressing the challenges of COVID-19 and influences so many of our daily, clinical decisions. How will big data, more specifically “distilling multiple biometric data streams,” transform medicine moving forward?

Join our hosts, Doctors Dela Taghipour and Daniel Kraft, in conversation with Dr. Eric Topol (Scripps Research Translational Institute), Dr. Caroline Buckee (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), Adam Pellegrini, and Firdaus Bhathena (CVS Health).

To learn more about the future of wearables, telemedicine, biometric data modeling, the DETECT study, and beyond, click to play the full interview with Dr. Eric Topol, Adam Pellegrini, and Dr. Daniel Kraft below or simply search for Healthy Conversations wherever you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe to the Healthy Conversations podcast

Tune in to Healthy Conversations wherever you listen to all your favorite podcasts.

Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
5
Display Hero
Off
Assets
Audience

Reimagining diabetes treatment

Bottom of the article

Managing diabetes can be complex. Achieving and maintaining one’s best health for this chronic condition, which causes higher than normal blood sugar levels, depends on a person’s ability to monitor symptoms, manage complicated medication regimens, control blood glucose and practice healthy behaviors.

“There are 50 different things — or maybe more — that a person with diabetes could be doing at any time to best manage their condition,” says Stella Wong, Senior Director for Product Development at CVS Health. “It's overwhelming.”
Tweet this

In the U.S., more than 34 million people live with diabetes and deal with these challenges, according to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. And only about 23 percent of people with Diabetes have it under control, says Peter Simmons, RPh, Vice President of Chronic Care Optimization. “Given the array of solutions available, that's a shame. We feel like we can do better.”

To do that, CVS Health created a proactive, integrated and holistic plan that reimagines diabetes treatment for its members. The goal is to reduce the complexity of self-management and improve health outcomes for plan members with diabetes — while preventing its onset.

Available with Caremark and Aetna benefit plans, the Transform Diabetes Care program uses CVS Health data insights and analytics to create personalized care plans for individuals across five clinical areas. The plan can be communicated through local CVS pharmacists and HealthHUB® professionals, digitally and virtually. Members are provided myriad tools to support their personalized care plan.

Peter Simmons, Vice President of Chronic Care Optimization for CVS Health.
“We always seek to be consumer-centric, consider how to deliver care locally and make care as simple as possible for customers and patients,” says Peter Simon, CVS Health’s VP Chronic Care Optimization.

The data also allows CVS Health to identify gaps in care and respond to patient needs before they arise. This proactive approach sets it apart from most other treatment plans, says Kyle Smith, head of CVS Health Transformation Marketing. “I think that's the most compelling thing about the work that we're doing.”

The program also utilizes a Pharmacist Panel to help patients stick to their plans, says Pharmacy Services Market Support Coach Rebecca Rice. “Pharmacists continue the conversation with their patients about their health while building trust and rapport,” she says.

“We think about our purpose every day: how we can help people on their path to better health,” Simmons says. “We always seek to be consumer-centric, consider how to deliver care locally and make care as simple as possible for customers and patients, especially those managing chronic conditions such as diabetes.”

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
4
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Audience
Narrative themes

Amidst a pandemic, consumers say they want accessible, affordable and technology-enabled health care, new CVS Health study finds

Top of the article

Path to Better Health Study also reveals desire for digital health care solutions to support chronic care, mental health needs.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The American health care system is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed new challenges and opportunities to accelerate advances in health care delivery, solve for systemic health inequities, dramatically improve care outcomes, and better meet consumer expectations for convenience and affordability.

With a global pandemic as the backdrop, CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) fielded the 2020 Path to Better Health Study, where consumers and providers were asked for their thoughts on the state of health care and how they are navigating this evolving landscape. While certain attitudes may have evolved as a result of COVID-19, the study reveals that consumers need more accessible, personalized and technology-driven health care than ever before and are seeking simplicity in the way they engage in their own health.

The use of technology and data analytics in health care is reaching new heights, and the pandemic is accelerating the adoption of digitally based solutions. Consumers are eagerly embracing tech, especially when it comes to communicating with their providers. Forty-eight percent said they would be more likely to communicate with health care professionals if they were able to do so through digital messaging (up from 41% in 2019), via telehealth (32%, up from 19% in 2019) and through virtual office visits such as Skype or FaceTime (29%, up from 20% in 2019). Additionally, 40% of consumers said they would be very likely to receive care for mental and behavioral health virtually.

"The pandemic has forced countless Americans to rethink their approach to health and explore different avenues of care," notes Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health. "Whether in the community, in the home or in the palm of their hand, people are discovering new ways to conveniently and affordably address their health care needs, including mental and behavioral health. We expect these changes will transform the way care is delivered moving forward."

The need to manage chronic conditions and mental health concerns is clearly top of mind for many consumers. A significant number of people indicated that members of their households are struggling with high blood pressure (41%), obesity (35%), mental illness (28%) and diabetes (17%).

Addressing mental health concerns is also of growing importance, especially among those aged 18 34 and 35 50, where social isolation is a top concern. For example, 44% of those aged 18 to 34 and 45% of those aged 35 to 50 indicated they no longer have a desire to be social, while only 29% of those aged 51 to 64 said the same. This resembles the 2019 findings, in which 48% of those 18 to 34 and 45% of those 35 to 50 reported they did not have a desire to be social, versus 35% of people aged 51 to 64.

The desire for accessibility is pushing people to explore new avenues of care. While a majority (62%) of consumers still go to their primary care physician (PCP) to treat a minor illness or injury, nearly one-third (31%) are likely to visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic. This is up from 2019, in which 59% of consumers reported going to their PCP for a minor illness or injury, while 28% said they would visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic. Digital solutions such as telemedicine are also growing in popularity with both patients and providers.

Most consumers (92%) said it is very or somewhat important that health care be convenient a factor that has only become more critical as a result of COVID-19.

About one-third (35%) of people said health care costs are an obstacle to staying healthy, and close to half (49%) have not visited a doctor when they had a minor illness or injury due to cost. Despite cost emerging as a top barrier to care, it is not often a topic of discussion between patients and health care providers. Two-thirds of patients (66%) said their PCP and other health care providers had not asked about the "affordability" of health care and/or discussed resources to assist with these costs, up slightly from 64% in the 2019 Path to Better Health Study.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Health care providers are increasingly turning to digital tools and technologies to care for and connect with their patients. Telemedicine is of particular interest, with 40% of providers saying it is very valuable for communicating with patients, up from 22% in the 2019 study. The future outlook for incorporating predictive analytics or artificial intelligence into provider practices also looks strong, with more than one-third (39%) indicating they already have or are very or somewhat likely to integrate these technologies into their practices within the next several years.

  • Providers are expressing the need for additional support for important community resources, but access is improving. For example, many providers said they have fair or poor access to substance abuse counselors (56%) and mental health counselors (50%), down from 63% and 55% in our 2019 study, respectively.

  • Many providers are experiencing burnout symptoms. Three-fourths (75%) of all providers said they feel burned out very frequently, frequently or sometimes. About one-quarter (27%) said the main cause of burnout is time spent documenting care/electronic record systems, followed by administrative/management requirements/paperwork (25%).

Read the full study.

About the study

The Path to Better Health Study by CVS Health, first released in 2018 and called the Health Ambitions Study, was conducted in March 2020 and included two surveys fielded by Market Measurement, a national market research consulting firm. The consumer survey comprised 1,000 participants 18 and older, located throughout the U.S. It also oversampled 12 metropolitan statistical areas Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Hartford, San Francisco, Tampa and among two ethnic groups: African American and Hispanic people. The survey of 400 providers focused on primary care physicians and specialists with at least two years' experience, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. 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.

Contacts

Kathleen Biesecker
bieseckerk@aetna.com
703-472-8466

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Press Release
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
2
Display Hero
Off
CSR Pillars
Audience

Path to Better Health Study 2020

Bottom of the article

CVS Health’s 2020 Path to Better Health Study finds that consumers are seeking a more accessible, affordable and technology-enabled health care experience than ever before. 

The American health care system is undergoing a time of accelerated innovation and transformation. Consumer expectations for convenient and personalized health care support, coupled with the exploding use of technology and data analytics, are just several trends driving critical change. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has also provided an opportunity to further advance health care delivery and utilization to better meet the needs of our patients, our customers and our communities.

According to our 2020 Path to Better Health Study, now in its third year, consumers and providers are hungry for this care transformation and want health solutions that meet them where they are — in store, in home and in hand.

cvs heart

40%

of consumers said they would be very likely to receive care for mental and behavioral health virtually.

71%

of consumers indicated they were greatly concerned with treating chronic illness due to cost. 

81%

of providers reported that they always, often or sometimes recommend that their patients establish health goals during routine office visits.

Importance of accessibility and affordability

Delivering accessible, high-quality care at any time is a key health care priority — and has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to our study, consumers agree, with 92% indicating that it was very or somewhat important that health care be convenient. 

We found that people’s desire for accessibility is pushing them to explore new avenues of care. While a majority of consumers still go to their primary care physician (PCP) to treat a minor illness or injury, nearly one-third of consumers are likely to visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic.

Consumers are receiving routine support for minor illnesses or injuries at several sites of care: 62% report visiting their primary care physician; 31% report using emergency walk-in clinics; 18% report visiting a hospital emergency room; and 15% report visiting community health clinics.

“Consumers are demanding convenience and ease in how they access health services. Technological solutions have the power to simplify health care and significantly expand the ways we deliver it,” said Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health, adding that COVID-19 has provided an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate transformation and drive lasting and systemic change in the American health care system. “Our growing local presence and expansion of virtual care, telemedicine, and other omnichannel programs will be critical to meeting the health needs of our members and customers, both during and after the pandemic.”

bc_video 6203212458001 sPw5TgNjFX tpm-plugin-x9micov5-6203212458001

Affordability is also top-of-mind for consumers. About one-third (35%) of people said health care costs are an obstacle to staying healthy, while close to half (49%) have not visited a doctor when they had a minor illness or injury due to cost, suggesting that consumers could use additional support in this area.

Increasing appetite for technology-enabled care

The use of technology across the health care continuum has been rising at a rapid rate. As a result of COVID-19, the pace of technological transformation will only quicken and greatly influence the future of care delivery.

The use of digital tools to facilitate communication between patients and providers is on the rise. Digital messaging among consumers is up 7% from 2019 with an overall usage of 48%. Among providers, digital messaging is down 2% from 2019 but overall usage is at 36%. Telehealth services, have shown a 14% increases among consumers, with a 32% overall usage rate. Among providers, usage of telehealth services increased 18% with a 40% usage overall.

Our study shows that people want to use technology to enhance communication with their health care providers, by adopting tools like digital messaging, telemedicine and virtual office visits. Among providers, their use of digital technologies to care for and connect with patients is also expanding. Telehealth is of particular interest, with 40% of providers saying it is very valuable for communicating with patients, up from 22% in our 2019 study.

bc_video 6203212549001 sPw5TgNjFX tpm-plugin-qtdukwmx-6203212549001

Our Path to Better Health Study also found that:

  • Mental health is of critical concern for consumers, especially among those aged 18 to 34 and 35 to 50, with the issue of social isolation being a top concern.
  • Consumers, as well as their friends, family and other household members, are struggling with chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, mental illness and diabetes. 
  • Health care providers still need more support in accessing important community-based resources, such as nutritionists and social workers, but this access is improving. 
  • Many providers are experiencing burnout symptoms at least some of the time. 
  • Awareness of and involvement in value-based care models is growing.
A woman sits at a dining room table eating a salad and a piece of bread while quietly smiling and reading a tablet computer.

Methodology 

The Path to Better Health Study by CVS Health, first released in 2018 and called the Health Ambitions Study, was conducted in March 2020 and included two surveys fielded by Market Measurement, a national market research consulting firm. The consumer survey comprised 1,000 participants 18 and older, located throughout the U.S. It also oversampled 12 metropolitan statistical areas — Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Hartford, San Francisco, Tampa and among two ethnic groups: African Americans and Hispanics. The survey of 400 providers focused on primary care physicians and specialists with at least two years’ experience, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

A woman in gray athletic clothes stretches and practices yoga poses in a very light and bright room. The photo is set inside of a CVS Health® heart on a red background.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
15
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Audience

Expanding precision oncology care

Bottom of the article

Tech entrepreneurs talk as much about working “on their business” as working “in their business” — another way of saying that innovating is as important as working on the day-in and day-out needs for a business to succeed. While the daily demands of patient care take a majority of their focus, oncologists, like smart tech executives, see technological advances and innovative oncology therapeutics as essential to improving the patient journey.

Today’s health care environment includes expanding the use of precision medicine, genomics, and technology, as well as increasing access to appropriate treatments to help improve patient experiences and outcomes. 

Precision medicine and the role of genomics

The late Clayton Christensen, renowned author and Harvard Business School professor who wrote at length on “disruptive innovation,” noted that precision medicine could aid in driving down health care costs without compromising quality or outcomes. Oncology evidence-based guidelines have been shown to improve treatment, outcomes, and costs by quickly starting patients on the most effective treatment, often with fewer side effects and less treatment time.https://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/JOP.17.00091

CVS Health’s Divisional Head of Enterprise Oncology Dr. Roger Brito describes the company’s precision approach that employs disruptive innovation: “The critical period between diagnosis and starting on therapy is an incredibly stressful and scary time for a patient. The ideal situation is to formulate the optimum treatment plan and get the patient started on the appropriate therapy as soon as possible.” 

Still, with approximately 700 updates in 24 months across 59 different National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) treatment and supportive care regimens, and a 63 percent expansion in oncology drugs in development in the last decade (IMS Health, R&D Focus, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, May 2016.), applying the most current therapies in daily practice is difficult for many oncologists.

“Keeping up with all of the changes in treatment, like the rapidly expanding oncology drug pipeline and evolving clinical guidelines for cancer treatment, can be very challenging for oncologists. 60% of community oncologists regularly use cancer pathwaysHigh-quality oncology clinical pathways are detailed, evidence-based treatment protocols for delivering cancer care to patients with specific disease types and stages. When properly designed and implemented, oncology pathways can serve as an important tool in improving care quality and reducing costs. https://www.asco.org/practice-policy/cancer-care-initiatives, so there is an opportunity to better support them in delivering the latest in cancer care,” says Brito.

On top of that, consider the exciting opportunity to enhance precision medicine with the latest genomics science and technology. “Identifying the genomic landscape of an individual patient’s tumor enables oncologists to treat the root cause specifically and more effectively,” says CVS Health’s Transformation Vice President for Complex Chronic Disease Anne Claussen.

CVS Health’s analysis suggests that broad-panel genomic sequencing may result in cost savings, and a pilot is underway that will explore this in depth.

With little debate over the efficacy of genomic testing, many wonder why 60 percent of advanced cancer care patients receive no genetic testing.https://www.foundationmedicine.com/blog/uncovering-insights-in-pancreatic-and-prostate-cancers “There are currently 125 approved cancer drugs and 86% of those in late-stage development that require genetic testing, yet few eligible patients receive a companion lab test. And even when advanced testing is administered, patients often receive the less comprehensive single gene mutation test, which does not provide a patient’s complete genetic profile,” says Claussen.

Testing a patient’s tumor, looking at DNA and RNA sequencing, and pairing that data with a patient’s health information is complicated and requires expertise in pharmacogenomics to interpret. Further, oncologists also need experience and training with such data to explain results to their patients. Here again, time is critically important to get the patient on the appropriate therapy as soon as possible.

Using technology to speed and expand support

CVS Health is building on its experience and bringing together capabilities across our health plan and pharmacy businesses to make precision medicine and genomics more accessible while easing adoption for oncologists with our Transform Oncology Care program.

Claussen stated, “We are proactively partnering with oncologists to develop and enhance our oncology care solutions by facilitating frequent, two-way feedback and providing reporting that highlights opportunities and gaps to improve health outcomes.”

CVS Health is helping oncologists employ broad-panel gene sequencing tests with the latest NCCN treatment and supportive care guidelines that help in the selection of the most precise and appropriate treatment regimen based on the patient’s clinical and genetic profile. Additionally, providers are notified of applicable clinical trials that their patients may qualify to participate in. “Here is where we see the power of precision medicine and evidence-based tools such as our Transform Oncology Care program, which allows providers to request an authorization online and receive approval within minutes. Patient anxiety is eased because they will get their treatment in a timely manner, and the provider’s process flow is streamlined, resulting in a much better patient experience,” explains Dr. Brito.

Transform Oncology Care strives to provide targeted strategies for every step of the cancer care journey.

Read the infographic.

A woman, wearing a headdress and comfortable-looking clothes, smiles quietly while looking out of a large window.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
6
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Audience
Narrative themes

Keeping connections in a distanced world to transform chronic care

Bottom of the article

By Jonathan Mayhew, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer, CVS Health

Four months ago, chronic care was one of the nation’s biggest health challenges, affecting more than half of all American adults and driving 90 percent of health care spending according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four months ago, new tools for helping people better manage and even prevent chronic conditions were expanding our ability to reach people early and often, connecting them with our local care teams, local community resources and virtual capabilities to support everyday decisions between regular doctors’ visits. Whether individuals chose to seek support at home, at work, in the pharmacy, online, or through a combination of all these options – these increased connections and intervention in chronic care would help prevent emergency room visits and hospital readmissions, improve health outcomes and lower costs.

Today, I still believe increased support and connections are key to fighting chronic disease, which is still a top health care challenge. But our world is different in many ways than it was four months ago. We are managing and looking to recover from a grueling pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority and underserved populations. Many people with chronic conditions have already delayed care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a health care setting.  In the months ahead, stopping in at your local pharmacy or visiting a doctor may not sound as appealing as it once did. For some, it will be non-starter.

At CVS Health, we understand that. Still, it is critical for those suffering or at risk of chronic conditions to continue regular care. And our approach to helping individuals with chronic conditions, which includes innovative touchpoints and groundbreaking data analysis, reflects the evolving needs of our customers, including a new reality shaped by the pandemic.

Combining physical, digital and virtual for more support options

Our past and real-time experience tells us that, particularly during stressful times, individuals at home need expanded options for accessing support for everyday decisions related to diet and exercise as well as medical and behavioral health care. While we will continue to expand our brick-and-mortar HealthHUB® locations to provide in-person health and wellness care, pharmacy services and retail goods, we also are accelerating and expanding our digital presence and integrating new virtual capabilities into our care management programs.

Recently, we have expanded the ways customers can engage with a CVS pharmacist, MinuteClinic® clinicians, or HealthHUB concierges (where available) to receive services. So, while an individual may not travel to see her pharmacist – she can still speak live over the phone or engage through an app and, afterward, have her medications delivered to her home. Additionally, through expanding telehealth capabilities, many individuals can access doctors to address medical and behavioral health concerns. No matter their preference, individuals have an array of options to stay connected.

Within our care management and condition management programs, we are making sure that, in addition to traditional telephone support, care managers can provide support using telehealth services and, when it is deemed safe to do so, still visit with individuals in their homes.  

Data is the game changer

Data will make these options even more effective. In the past, when the topic of data and analytics was raised related to care or condition management, it typically meant relying on claims data exclusively. Today, CVS Health is not only able to bring together a broader set of data from prescription claims and medical claims, but we also combine that data with lab results, electronic health record data and information from medical devices and wearables where permitted. As we’ve seen in Korea and multiple other countries, along with some efforts in the U.S. to track COVID-19, this approach provides a much more comprehensive understanding of what is happening with an individual and within a community. And because we are able to aggregate and analyze this data in real time, the insights we can generate for care managers, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and doctors (as part of referrals and ongoing care coordination) are actionable and make health care simpler for individuals. This kind of data fuels our Pharmacist Panel program which notifies our pharmacists of potential gaps in care or preventive care opportunities based on medical, pharmacy and lab data. This expanded view makes it even easier for pharmacists to proactively engage members in relevant, impactful and timely one-on-one conversations about how best to manage their chronic conditions. And this outreach is delivered through member-preferred channels like text, email or telephone.

Moving to a comprehensive approach to condition management

Unmatched data and multiple connection capabilities allow CVS Health to break away from the one-size-fits-all approach to chronic condition management. For example, most diabetes management programs today focus on just two modes of support -- monitoring blood glucose and managing issues of lifestyle and comorbidities – mostly through virtual reporting and telephone coaching.

Our comprehensive approach to diabetes care for Aetna members and CVS Caremark customers focuses on three additional areas for a total of five impact areas. In addition to monitoring blood glucose and managing lifestyle issues, we aim to ensure individuals also are receiving the recommended annual health screenings, adhering to medications and taking the right medications to manage their diabetes and any other conditions. Whether an individual is seen by a CVS pharmacist, a care manager, or MinuteClinic nurse practitioner online or in person, each will have an integrated view of the individual’s health needs in these five clinical impact areas. They will all be on the same page regarding medications, test results and care plans. This not only leads to more effective management of diabetes and other chronic conditions but also reduces the frustration patients often experience when care is disconnected and uncoordinated.

Taken together, improved interactions and data-fueled insights paint a picture of complete end-to-end condition management with many options for engagement and support. That is what is needed to improve our standard of care for diabetes and other chronic conditions. With integrated care teams, digital and virtual solutions and data technologies, we can stay connected to more people, on their terms and comfort levels, and help them to more successfully manage their chronic health conditions today and well into the future.

An older female with silvery, long hair eats a bowl of fruit in her kitchen while using a tablet computer to access digital health services.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
10
Display Hero
On
Audience