CVS Health supports better health through good nutrition

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CVS Health offers customized approach to boosting health with better food choices

A new nutrition-based CVS Health initiative aims to provide a new option for consumers who want to boost their overall health through better food choices. The Nutrition Coaching & Services program, which is being piloted in three Phoenix-area HealthHUB locations, provides a comprehensive approach to nutrition, focusing on therapeutic diet options tailored to personal tastes and specific chronic conditions.

“The vast majority of health issues we struggle with as a country are due to poor diet,” said Daniel Knecht, M.D., VP of Clinical Product. “So, CVS Health can play a significant part in helping people to manage chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes and heart disease by equipping them with the knowledge and ability to eat healthy and nutritious food daily.”

Poor nutrition and obesity can be the root cause of multiple chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Obesity also is a risk factor that may contribute to increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity costs the U.S. health care system roughly $150 billion a year. Unfortunately, solving for metabolic health and obesity can be complicated. Currently, communities lack a singular resource that can provide tailored nutrition guidance that’s in line with personal health needs. That’s where CVS Health comes in, as it works to integrate nutrition support into many of its clinical services and resources.

In addition to providing access to nurse practitioners and pharmacists who can advise on baseline health and manage prescription medications, the Nutrition Coaching & Services program offers metabolic health blood tests, body composition measurement, and a digital app that includes remote monitoring, tracking and coaching, as well as educational content, meal plans and shopping lists. 

“What resonates with consumers is that good nutrition is a natural way to manage their chronic condition. It’s a much-less invasive approach than surgery and medicines,” said Cameron Smith, Sr. Director, Chronic Care. “Our vision is to ultimately create a capability and platform for nutrition services that can be leveraged across the Enterprise.”  

A focus on good nutrition can help people reduce weight, boost immunity, get better sleep and improve metabolic measures such as hypertension, blood sugar and inflammatory responses, according to Rich Wood, Ph.D., Nutritional Sciences, and Executive Advisor, Complex Chronic Care Transformation. Wood helped to design the program being piloted in Arizona.

“The majority of Americans are struggling with obesity, as well as heart health issues, so we know there’s a big need out there,” Wood noted, adding that consumers have indicated they want help co-managing their medications and nutrition. “CVS is already the #1 pharmacy in the country. We know people trust CVS in their lives.”

The Nutrition Coaching & Services program is offering a highly personalized approach, considering participants’ individual characteristics and desires, including metabolism, allergies, food preferences, lifestyle and body type. This input helps the team develop an individualized nutrition program that the participant can sustain.

“When you drill down to the current nutrition solutions in the market, they’re all similar. They are either Keto-based, plant-based, Mediterranean diet based... but we are taking a diet-agnostic approach,” Wood said. “We meet people where they are. That’s what personalization is all about.”

The program will enroll customers and engage them with a health coach. These coaches can develop a personalized nutrition plan and provide ongoing support for the customer, becoming a trusted advisor as patients progress.

Ultimately, health is not one-size-fits-all, and neither is nutrition. To improve the health care of the communities we serve, we must provide resources that allow people to receive customized nutrition advice. With the power of personalized nutrition, CVS Health can help members and customers on their path to better health. 

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CVS Health increases access to flu vaccines in communities of need

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced it is supporting a nearly $3 million commitment to increasing access to flu vaccines for underserved communities throughout the country. Through its Project Health initiative, CVS Health is contributing $2 million to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) to help distribute flu vaccines to those who may otherwise not have access. Additionally, the company is working with Bank of America and General Motors to support increased access to flu vaccines in even more communities nationwide.

"Underserved communities have been hit particularly hard by COVID-19, so supporting flu prevention in these communities is even more important," said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health. "Through our work with Free Clinics, and in teaming up with Bank of America and General Motors, we aim to expand our reach to individuals who may not otherwise have access to flu vaccines."

CVS Health's Project Health flu initiative will support free and charitable clinics in areas across the country, helping clinics increase capacity to provide flu vaccinations. Clinics in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas will receive support. These grants extend the mission of Project Health which aims to break down the barriers for people to access quality and affordable health care.

"We are grateful to CVS Health for their continued commitment to supporting the work of Free and Charitable Clinics which provide access to needed health care services to underserved communities throughout the country," said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC President and CEO. "This program will allow clinics to distribute needed flu vaccines to people in their communities that otherwise might not have access to vaccinations."

In addition to contributing to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, CVS Health is working with Bank of America and General Motors to reach even more individuals in these areas of significant need. Bank of America is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in seven select cities: Boston, Detroit, Dallas, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Phoenix and Greater Washington, D.C. Additionally, General Motors is funding vouchers for free flu vaccines, redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in the Los Angeles area and across southern California.

"We are committed to working with the public and nonprofit sectors as one global community to address this health crisis and to provide the necessary resources to protect our most vulnerable populations," said Andrew Plepler, head of Environmental, Social and Governance at Bank of America. "Offering access to free flu prevention complements our other health-focused efforts including supplying PPE, supporting community-based testing and care, addressing food insecurity and providing access to mental health resources."

Flu prevention is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic so hospitals are not overwhelmed with cases of both COVID-19 and flu. And with seasonal flu outbreaks beginning as early as October and lasting as late as May, it is never too late to get a flu shot as it is the best defense against getting the flu. Getting a flu shot is one way to help protect individual health, especially for those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illnesses and people with certain chronic health conditions, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

"We are proud to collaborate with CVS Health to increase access to flu vaccines for underserved communities in the Los Angeles area and across southern California," said Dr. Jeffery Hess, General Motors Chief Medical Director. "Now more than ever, it is important to be protected with a flu shot to help reduce flu illnesses and prevent flu-related hospitalizations and deaths, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. So many communities are enduring multiple crises during this difficult time, and we are grateful to be able to provide this support."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

Courtney Tavener
401-712-3698
Courtney.Tavener@CVSHealth.com

A woman, wearing a face mask, receives a vaccination in an examination room from a nurse practitioner, also wearing a face mask.
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COVID-19 testing for vulnerable populations

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Over the past several months as COVID-19 has hit communities across the country, many people have been asked to stay at home.  But for certain populations, like those who many not be able to afford to stay home from work, essential workers, and people without a permanent home address, quarantining is an even more difficult task.

In some cases, taking public transportation to work or family housing dynamics in homes or apartments may make it more difficult to socially distance or quarantine, which could lead to an increase in possible exposure to COVID-19. There are varying types of barriers that individuals in underserved communities may face that make it difficult to follow all of the public health guidelines recommended to combat the pandemic.  At the same time, lack of access to testing for COVID-19 for some populations can make the pandemic an even greater challenge.

As part of CVS Health’s expansion of COVID-19 testing, we have partnered with community-based organizations to provide testing solutions to at-risk and underserved populations. This includes working with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) in Phoenix, Arizona, an organization dedicated to feeding, clothing, housing and healing low-income families.

Beginning in May, CVS Health partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to provide COVID-19 testing at the nonprofit’s Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic for the uninsured. Because of the population the clinic serves, the CVS Health and SVdP teams worked together to quickly adjust many standard practices – such as waiving the need for a home address and working with the state of Arizona to ensure people who test positive are given resources and next steps on safely quarantining. Signage and discharge papers are provided in Spanish and English, and most of the on-site CVS Health staff is bilingual, to ensure that patients feel comfortable talking about their health care needs and next steps in their preferred language.

“We’ve seen an amazing response from our community-based testing site in Phoenix,” said Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President of Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer, CVS Health. “We’ve been able to rely on St. Vincent de Paul’s strong presence in the local community and build on CVS Health’s commitment to supporting underserved populations.”

Regular patients of the St. Vincent de Paul clinic who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are referred to the testing center within the clinic. Patients receive their results within 15 minutes which allows the on-site team to act quickly on next steps and provide them with the added resources they need to safely quarantine and get on their path to recovery.

"We're extremely grateful to CVS Health for helping bring COVID-19 testing to the uninsured patients we serve at St. Vincent de Paul," said Dr. Maurice Lee, SVdP's chief medical officer. "Not only are we increasing access for people who might otherwise go without medical diagnosis, but we're also gaining a better understanding of the spread happening within vulnerable populations and in our community as a whole."

Find no cost COVID-19 testing in your community.

CVS Testing Center associate with swabs
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CVS Health to hire hundreds of new jobs across Arizona

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Pharmacy Technician role is in high demand

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — In anticipation of the increased demand for influenza vaccinations and the likely ongoing presence of COVID-19 this fall, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today the hiring of approximately 300 new jobs throughout Arizona over the coming months.

The new roles are seasonal and for part-time and full-time licensed pharmacy technicians at CVS Pharmacy locations. The positions will be filled as soon as possible. Some seasonal employees will have the opportunity to apply for or be promoted into permanent roles with the company.

Working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, pharmacy technicians process prescriptions, dispense medications, provide information to customers or health professionals and perform administrative tasks. They also are vital to administering the COVID-19 test at CVS Pharmacy's 93 drive-thru testing sites across Arizona to help curb the spread of the virus and expand access to care, particularly in underserved neighborhoods.

"Additional team members typically are needed every fall flu season," said Tobin Zdarko, Region Director, CVS Pharmacy. "However, we are estimating a much greater need for pharmacy technicians this year given the anticipated rise in demand for flu shots and other immunizations, along with the continued presence of COVID-19 in the community. These jobs offer Arizona residents a rewarding career opportunity, with flexible hours, advancement potential and a supportive environment while helping people on their path to better health."

The influx of new jobs comes at a time of record-high unemployment rates across Arizona and nationwide due to the coronavirus.

"This expansion by CVS Health is an important addition to the state's health care community and will further strengthen efforts to keep Arizonans safe and healthy," said Governor Doug Ducey. "We thank CVS Health for its ongoing commitment to our state, and for investing in hundreds of jobs in Arizona."

To be hired, applicants must have obtained at least a technician in training license. This certification is valid for up to three years, by which time the trainee is required to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam to remain a technician.

Interested job seekers can go to cvs.jobs to apply.

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. 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

Monica Prinzing
831-241-8294
PrinzingM@aetna.com

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Heart At Work: Megan Chesnet

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She’s 24, a pharmacy tech and administering desperately needed COVID-19 testing in her Phoenix, Arizona pharmacy.

It’s 8:30 AM and already a humid 92 degrees in Phoenix, Arizona where pharmacy technician Megan Chesnet is at the window ready to greet the first of nearly 60 patients who will drive through for COVID-19 testing. 

“We test approximately one patient every 10 minutes. We’re booked solid.” Megan explains.

In the past weeks, Arizona has been named one of the nation’s Coronavirus hotspots seeing a huge surge in cases just weeks after relaxing safety measures. Schools will now be delayed. Gyms, movie theaters and water parks once open, have been shuttered. Hospital beds are filling, in some areas to capacity. The testing CVS Health and Megan provides is desperately needed.

“When COVID-19 began in March, a lot of people here didn’t take it seriously, they didn’t wear masks and didn’t social distance. Now, they’re scared,” says Megan. “We’re helping people of all ages, even entire families.”
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Already a six-year veteran at CVS, at 24, Megan is remarkable. She easily connects with and comforts patients. And although she can’t hold their hands, she patiently walks them through the testing steps: How to apply the nasal swab, keep it in one nostril for 15 seconds, move it to the next nostril for another 15 seconds, then carefully seal it in a vile and deposit it in a container. “Nothing ever comes back into the pharmacy. I don’t touch anything. I honestly feel safer here than going to the grocery store,” she says.

Most of Megan’s patients are anxious, their symptoms make them feel uncomfortable. They’re worried about next steps and if needed whether hospital beds will be available. “I try to make the process stress free. I tell them we’re in this together,” offers Megan. “I really do care for our patients and I believe they know that care is genuine.”

Megan Chesnet coaches a patient, from behind the window at a CVS Pharmacy drive-thru location, about how to administer a COVID-19 nasal swab test.
Megan tests approximately one patient every 10 minutes.

“Megan was the first in her pharmacy to learn how to administer coronavirus testing and she’s taken the lead on training dozens of pharmacists and pharmacy techs in the region,” explains Region Director Tobin Zdarko. When she graduates from Arizona State University, she hopes to be a CVS Pharmacist.

“Being able to provide testing makes me feel part of something bigger than my work as a pharmacy tech,” shares Megan. “It’s been so positive for me to be involved in my community, to know I’m helping.”

Thank you, Megan, for putting others at ease with your big Heart At Work.

Meagan Chesnet, a CVS Pharmacy Technician, in her Phoenix, Arizona store.
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CVS Health announces 500 new Chandler jobs on Price Corridor

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CHANDLER, Arizona — CVS Health announced today a new 101,000 square foot office in Chandler, Arizona. Located at 1255 South Spectrum Boulevard in the Allred Park Place development, CVS Health will employ approximately 500 workers. Job opportunities include health care advocates, care management nurses, social workers, registered dieticians, behavioral health specialists, and medical directors. Most of these jobs will be new to the region.

CVS Health completed their acquisition of Aetna in November 2018. The new office in Chandler will provide service for the Aetna One Advocate care management program. The other offices that support Aetna One Advocate are in North Carolina and Ohio, with the Chandler office now responsible for a growing base of customers.

The project includes approximately $10 million in new tenant improvements to the building, which was originally built in 2009. The first class of approximately 130 employees has already been hired for this office and are currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic. CVS Health is continuing to ramp up hiring in the months ahead with the next training class scheduled for August 3, 2020.

“The City of Chandler is thrilled to welcome this significant infusion of new jobs to our community from a worldwide leader in the healthcare industry,” stated Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke. “As our city and region continue to work through the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, we are especially proud to bring these new jobs to Chandler and the entire East Valley. We would like to congratulate CVS Health on this new facility and wish them many years of success ahead.”

“We look forward to contributing to the economic growth and prosperity of the East Valley,” said Jason Clement, Vice President Aetna Clinical Services, CVS Health. “This exciting partnership with the City of Chandler to launch a new, state-of-the-art location will employ highly skilled talent for a wide range of positions and expand support for our Aetna One Advocate customers.”

“Douglas Allred Company welcomes CVS Health to Allred Park Place – Chandler’s #1 Corporate Campus,” stated CEO Dave Allred. “We are thrilled to have them join our other premier tenants and look forward to many years of a great partnership.”

Visit Aetna One Advantage careers to learn more.

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.

About the City of Chandler

Chandler, Arizona has built a reputation as a “Community of Innovation.” Life in Chandler goes beyond a thriving and dynamic business community with progressive entrepreneurship. Known for its rich diversity, the city offers an outstanding quality of life for all generations with great schools and recreational opportunities. Chandler has grown to become the state's fourth largest city with a population of more than 262,000. Chandler has been named one of the nation’s Best Places to Find a Job and Best Cities for Women in Tech. The city also is one of the safest communities in the nation and boasts AAA bond ratings from all three national rating agencies, one of only 40 communities to achieve this distinction. For more information, visit the city website, or connect with the city on social media.

Media contacts

City of Chandler
Stephanie Romero 
stephanie.romero@chandleraz.gov 
602-412-7228 

CVS Health 
Monica Prinzing 
prinzingm@aetna.com 
831-241-8294

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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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CVS Health and its foundations support community and employee needs amid COVID-19 pandemic

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the company and its foundations are giving more than $1 million in new investments to address food insecurity and other community needs in response to ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CVS Health Foundation will also match up to $1 million in employee contributions to the CVS Health Employee Relief Fund, a public charity supporting colleagues during unanticipated and unavoidable financial hardships and emergencies. The fund will make $1,000 grants available to employees to address qualifying emergency needs related to the pandemic. CVS Health is also easing programmatic restrictions on certain grants made by the company and its foundations in 2019 and 2020 to give nonprofit organizations more flexibility to use the donated funds to address the most pressing needs.

“Supporting the communities we serve and building on the steps CVS Health has taken to support its employees aligns with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, SVP of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy for CVS Health, and President of the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations. “We’re also focused on much-needed flexibility for our partners, including loosening existing grant guidelines whenever possible.”

CVS Health and its foundations are addressing community needs with support for United Ways and other community organizations responding to the pandemic. Much of that support is dedicated to Rhode Island, Connecticut and Arizona, where many of the company’s employees are based. The CVS Health Foundation has provided $100,000 to the United Way of Rhode Island to support the Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Fund, and the Aetna Foundation has provided $100,000 to support the Connecticut United Ways’ Neighbors in Need Emergency Response Fund. In addition, the company has provided $50,000 to the Arizona Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

CVS Health is also providing $250,000 to support the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, which is responding to the pandemic by distributing emergency food boxes to its network of 200 food banks across the country to support vulnerable populations. The company is further addressing food insecurity with support for local food banks and nutrition-focused nonprofit organizations in many states, including some of the hardest-hit such as New York, California and Washington.

“There are many people in the communities we serve who lack access to basic needs, including food and personal hygiene products. We’re supporting organizations of all sizes that have the infrastructure in place to provide relief in the safest way possible,” said Boone.

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.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues' spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge Grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit www.cvshealth.com/social-responsibility.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is a charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health. As a national health foundation, the Aetna Foundation promotes wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone.

Media contact

Erin Shields Britt
Corporate Communications
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

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Rewriting Their Stories: Collaborative Treatment for Trafficking Victims

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Utilizing the resources of our combined companies, our commitment to improving health community by community includes everything from free neighborhood health clinics to the difficult, personal issues of treating addiction.

In Arizona, it involves going into communities dealing with the growing epidemic of human trafficking through a public-private effort that involves Mercy Care, a Medicaid managed care organization managed by Aetna, as well as the Phoenix Police Department and other social services programs.

In the video above, learn how a holistic, first-of-its-kind treatment program, the Maricopa County Child Sex Trafficking Collaborative, is working with multiple health care partners to get victims off the street and on a path to better health.

As Skye Steel, CEO of Street Light USA says in the video: “Children who have been trafficked can recover. It does take a lot of time, a lot of people, a lot of energy, a lot of love…but their story can be rewritten.”

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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Accountable care organizations: Transforming care delivery to support members, increase cost savings

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For over a decade, Aetna has been focusing on transforming the health care delivery system. Members are at the center of Aetna’s accountable care organizations, with the goal of improving health by providing access to high-quality, effective, patient-centric care.

Accountable care organizations are integrated networks of hospitals, doctor offices and other health care facilities that get paid by an insurer based on the quality and effectiveness of care their patients receive. Aetna has over 500 accountable care organization arrangements across its Commercial and Medicare lines of business.

Aetna’s accountable care organizations have seen broad successes. At 4 in every 5 accountable care organizations, members were more successful in managing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, than members who did not participate in a similar care model.12 months through June 2016 versus 12 months through June 2015. Market comparison includes all attributed non-value-based contract members. Results exclude individual, student health and coordination of benefits. Results differ due to differences in time periods and adjustments.

Members of Aetna accountable care organizations also saw an average savings of $29.25 per month from June 2015 to June 2016.Compared to broad Aetna network plans. Actual results may vary; savings may be less when compared to other value-based or narrow network plans. And an October 2017 study of Aetna accountable care organizations found there were lower costs for emergency room, inpatient and physician visits in 2016.Inaugural ACO Product Evaluation Study results, October 2017, for members with 2016 effective dates. Six-month baseline period prior to ACO effective date and six-month study period after ACO effective date.

“Accountable care organizations combine the best of both worlds by bringing together the capabilities of a health insurer focused on wellness with all that health systems, doctors, and other care givers across the community do to deliver high quality care,” said Paul McBride, CEO of Accountable Care Solutions at Aetna. “These collaborations are helping to drive improvement in outcomes, affordability and access for our members.  We aren’t only focused on the care members receive when they have chronic or acute health care needs. We also are committed to providing a better member experience and helping members achieve their health and wellness goals.”

Accountable care organizations take a proactive approach to health care. Rather than waiting until members visit a doctor’s office, care teams use technology and digital tools to connect with them in between appointments. The arrangements allow clinicians to have more information about a patient when they visit, including if they’re regularly filling prescriptions or the results of recent tests.

Increased engagement with the patient also can result in the need for fewer in-person appointments, McBride said.

In Arizona, Aetna and Banner Health had a five-year accountable care organization arrangement called “Aetna Whole Health℠ – Banner Health Network.” The relationship has led to:

  • A 24 percent decrease in avoidable surgery admissions;
  • A 4 percent increase in generic prescribing; and
  • An 11.5 percent overall reduction in medical costs.

The success of Aetna Whole Health℠ – Banner Health Network led to the development of Banner|Aetna, a joint venture aimed at bettering the member experience and improving health outcomes and engagement with providers while reducing the cost of health care in Arizona.

In 2016, Aetna launched Aetna Premier Care Network Plus, a plan focused on simplifying health care access and services for members by putting many high-performing accountable care organizations together in a common network. Members can then easily find in-network providers that provide high-quality care in 47 of the largest communities coast to coast.

Aetna Premier Care Network Plus is built on providing both simplicity and quality. Specialists and hospitals in the network use data-driven decision making and shared clinical pathways to improve quality and efficiency. On average, this results in shorter hospital visits and fewer hospital readmissions.

Aetna Premier Care Network Plus is configured to produce the greatest medical cost savings through designated providers, who are chosen based on measures of quality and efficiency that lead to improved outcomes.

 

An infographic describing the results of Aetna's five-year accountable care organization with Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona.

Care Teams Support Members

Helping people achieve their health goals means supporting them outside of the doctor’s office. Whether it’s connecting members to specialists or community services or answering questions about medications, accountable care organization care teams can help better coordinate care.

For example, Aetna’s Delaware Valley accountable care organization sent a social work care coordinator and nurse care coordinator to conduct a home visit with a 75-year-old patient. The member’s doctor was concerned her medical condition and living situation put her at an increased risk for a fall. The member’s care goals included living at home and maintaining independence.

The member had a chronic, neurological disease impairing her motor skills and muscle control. She fell several times when trying to stand up from a chair and while retrieving items in another room. The care coordinators also discovered the member was unable to carry meals from her kitchen to the living room while using a walker.

The care coordinators:

  • Connected the member to a local volunteer program that delivers weekly meals.
  • Set the member up with a medical alert system that would call for help in the event of a fall.
  • Found a charitable organization to pay for a chair lift to help her safely stand from sitting in her chair.
  • Set the member up to receive physical and occupational therapy in her home.

The care coordinators followed the member’s progress for six months. With the additional assistance and resources, she avoided falls and emergency room visits, while still living on her own.  This is the type of member experience Aetna strives to make the norm. Accountable care organization relationships support that outcome.

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