Political activities & contributions

CVS Health participates in the political process to help shape public policy and address legislation that has a direct impact on the company. The engagement ensures that the interests of our business, customers, shareholders and employees are fairly represented at all levels of government.

It is CVS Health’s policy that the CEO and the Board are responsible for determining the company’s policy and political interests, and how to further those interests in a manner consistent with applicable laws. Specifically, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee regularly reviews and considers the Company’s policies and practices, including expenditures, regarding political contributions, and direct and indirect lobbying. It also reviews and considers the company’s policies and practices regarding other significant public policy issues, which the Board may determine from time to time.

Lobbying activity

Lobbying is highly regulated in the United States, and we comply with applicable U.S. federal and state laws, including the Lobbying Disclosure Act and Honest Leadership and Open Government Act that require reporting on lobbying activities and certification of compliance with Congressional gift rules. Our company’s federal lobbying reports can be found on the lobbying disclosures website. You can directly access our consolidated lobbying reports.

Our Government Affairs team represents the company’s point of view in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals around the country. We focus on legislative and public policy issues that impact the company’s delivery of pharmacy care and long-term business interests, and communicate with policymakers and stakeholders on issues that impact our business.

Political donations

As a public corporation, CVS Health is prohibited by federal law from making contributions to candidates or political parties in federal elections. We make contributions at the state level, as allowed by state laws. All of the company’s contributions promote the interests of the company and are made without regard for the private political preferences of company officers and executives. A listing of our political donations at the state and local level, including candidates, political parties and ballot initiatives, is available in our political activities and contributions report.

Colleague political action

As with many corporations, CVS Health offers certain eligible colleagues an opportunity to participate in the political process by voluntarily contributing to the CVS Health Political Action Committee (PAC), our company’s federal PAC. Political contributions to federal, state, and local candidates, political party committees, and political action committees are made by our PAC in accordance with applicable law. Consistent with federal law, CVS Health pays the administrative, solicitation and compliance costs of the Committee.

The CVS Health PAC is subject to comprehensive regulation by the federal government, including detailed disclosure requirements.

Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, CVS Health submits to Congress semi-annual reports, which also include a listing of EPAC’s contributions to federal candidates. In a move toward greater transparency and per shareholder requests, we report these contributions in the Political Activities and Contributions report on our website. Included on our website are disclosures of the contributions the PAC makes at the state level in accordance with individual state laws. Additionally, we operate employee-funded state Political Action Committees in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

CVS Health has a policy governing political contributions made from corporate and PAC funds to ensure that all potential political contributions made by or on behalf of CVS Health or an PAC are reviewed and approved internally for compliance with all federal, state, and local laws, and that all of the company’s political activities are conducted in accordance with high ethical standards. This policy applies to all employees of CVS Health, and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates. CVS Health does not make any independent expenditures in federal, state or local elections.

Trade association participation

CVS Health participates in various federal and state trade associations or organizations that operate in support of specific industries. Trade associations participate in activities such as education, advertising and lobbying to influence public policy. Many associations offer other services, such as producing conferences, networking or charitable events or offering classes or educational materials. Some associations also make political contributions or operate a PAC.

From January 2017 – March 2018, CVS Health paid approximately $7.5 million in dues to trade and industry associations. (This amount includes payments to governors associations and certain non-profit civic organizations.) Details regarding CVS Health’s trade and industry association membership dues can be found in our annual trade association dues report, along with our past reports. These reports include the amount paid for advocacy and/or political purposes for any trade or industry association with annual total dues of $25,000 or more, as well as payments in excess of $25,000 to such associations and governmental organizations.

Downloads

2019 Consolidated lobbying report
2019 Political activities and contributions
2019 Trade association and coalition participation

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Corporate social responsibility reports

At the beginning of this new decade, we are reinforcing our commitment to helping people on their path to better health through Transform Health 2030. Grounded in four pillars — Healthy People, Healthy Business, Healthy Community and Healthy Planet Transform Health 2030 is inclusive of our enterprise strategy and the impact we know we can have as a health care leader.

Download this year’s report

2019 CSR Report PDF

2019 CSR Report Summary PDF

2019 CSR Report Appendix PDF

    Leader insights

    Our goal is to be the front door to health care and CVS Health remains focused on helping people on their path to better health by making health care more local and simpler. In 2020 and beyond, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with our partners, stockholders and other stakeholders to deliver better health to our customers, patients, colleagues and the communities we serve.

    A letter from President and CEO Larry Merlo

    A letter from Chief Sustainability Officer Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy for CVS Health

    Performance tracking

    We have established 23 measurable, time-bound performance targets to track progress against our goals and strategic priorities. Over the next year, we will develop new key performance targets and commitments to advance our Transform Health 2030 CSR roadmap.

    See our progress

    Material topics

    In 2019, we conducted a comprehensive materiality assessment, in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards, to reflect our growing business, strategy and stakeholder expectations. The assessment evaluated the 23 topics from our materiality assessment in 2017. Additionally, it reflected our Aetna integration activities through internal and external stakeholder feedback, competitive benchmarking, an industry landscape and assessment of emerging issues. Ultimately, the 2019 materiality assessment drove the development of our Transform Health 2030 strategy and its pillars: Healthy People, Healthy Community, Healthy Business and Healthy Planet.

    Learn more about our material topics

    Report archives

    Our current and previous Corporate Social Responsibility reports.

    View the CSR report archive

    cvs heart

    CVS Health Foundation

    $150M+

    in charitable contributions, employee giving, in-store fundraising and in-kind donations

    More than

    $5.6B

    in economic impact contributed to local communities through our supplier diversity program

    In 2019, we enrolled

    1.1M

    customers in digital receipts for a savings of 48 million yards of receipt paper

    CVS Health’s Corporate Social Responsibility roadmap: Healthy People, Healthy Business, Healthy Community, and Healthy Planet.

    CVS Caremark earns Health Information Products Certification

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    CVS Caremark received Health Information Products (HIP) Certification from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA), for providing comprehensive pharmacy benefits information to its members. The certification was implemented on July 15, 2020, and will go through July 15, 2022. This marks the second consecutive two-year HIP Certification from the NCQA.
      
    This helps affirm that CVS Caremark, through our Caremark website and customer call center, provides members with the information they need to understand and optimize their pharmacy benefits. NCQA's HIP Certification is a quality assessment program that health plans can use to help evaluate health care organizations that develop and provide content, tools and services to plan members.

    This certification further underscores our ability to provide accessible and accurate pharmacy benefit information to the members we serve on behalf of our clients. 

    “Earning NCQA’s HIP Certification demonstrates that an organization has expertise in gathering and disseminating health care information for members,” said Lisa Slattery, Vice President, Accreditation and Recognition Operations, NCQA.”

    CVS Caremark provides pharmacy benefit information to members by mail, digitally and telephonically. This can include information about a member's prescriptions, drug coverage and plan design, such as in-network pharmacy locations and mail-order options.

    HIP Certification is a voluntary review process in which NCQA evaluated CVS Caremark’s management of various aspects of its data collection and systems operation, and the process the company uses to continuously improve the services it provides. The HIP review includes rigorous evaluations conducted by a team of health care professionals. A national oversight committee of physicians analyzes the team's findings and determine certification based on the HIP organization's compliance with NCQA standards.

    NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s website contains information to help consumers, employers and others make more informed health care choices.

    Learn more about the pursuit of higher quality through third-party accreditations.

    NCQA Health Certification
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    CVS Health reports second quarter results; diversified assets deliver strong enterprise results

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    Creating safer pregnancies through preeclampsia prevention

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    A new, first-of-its-kind initiative designed to prevent the devastating impacts of preeclampsia in pregnant members launched today as part of the Aetna Maternity Program. Building on the enterprise’s long-standing commitment to support expectant mothers on a path to better health, the initiative is focused on preventing this condition, a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S.https://www.preeclampsia.org/faqs

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. This crisis also disproportionately affects Black women.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69_02-508.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/ And, in recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits that could help detect preeclampsia risks.

    “Alarmingly, women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and Black women are at an even higher risk. We must do more to address this public health crisis and keep moms and babies healthy,” says Daniel Knecht, M.D., CVS Health’s vice president of clinical products. “The goal of this initiative is to help empower our members to have productive discussions with their providers throughout their pregnancy journey.” 

    Empowering safer pregnancies

    Amidst the COVID-19 landscape, pregnant women may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits and in turn be at higher risk for developing complications that go undetected.

    Read the infographic

    By leveraging Aetna claims data, the program identifies high-risk pregnant members for individualized outreach and subsequently sends them an engaging, personalized prenatal care kit. Each kit contains educational materials about preeclampsia, along with an 81 mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, an intervention that can substantially reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members also receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to have informed conversations with their obstetrician about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin.Note: Pregnant women should always talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.

    Although preeclampsia has no cure, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been proven to be a low-cost, safe medication that can significantly cut the risk of the condition and some of its complications.https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1704559?query=recirc_curatedRelated_article Despite compelling evidence, providers and patients are largely unaware of aspirin’s effectiveness, highlighting the important need for continued education.

    “CVS Health is well-positioned to improve both access to and outcomes of maternal and neonatal health care, including for causes of severe maternal morbidity that is disproportionately experienced among minority women,” noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., CVS Health enterprise head of women’s health and an OB/GYN. “We have delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources, such as low-dose aspirin, right to members’ doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members.”

    The initiative is an exciting and simple way that CVS Health and Aetna are empowering safer pregnancies and connecting expectant mothers with preventative care that meets their unique needs. As part of the Aetna Maternity Program’s efforts, all pregnant members will receive a letter and flyer from the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine informing them about preeclampsia and its signs and symptoms.

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    myCVS Journey

    CVS Health is a national leader in building partnerships that prepare youth for the world of work, school, and life success. At the core of this work is myCVS Journey Pathways to Health Care Careers, a nationally recognized program that introduces students of all ages to career opportunities in:

    • Pharmacy Services

    • Professional Management

    • Medical and Nursing

    • IT, Analytics, and Engineering

    This STEM-enriched program is designed to engage young people (aged 5 to 24) in age-appropriate awareness, exploration, and preparation for health care careers. This school-to-career model begins in elementary grades and continues through high school with opportunities to learn about careers with CVS Health in pharmacy, professional management, nursing, and information technology. 


    Building careers across the country

    With more than 320 active youth partnerships across the country, we are able to provide:

    • On-the-job training and skills building

    • School-based career days

    • Work-based learning programs

    • Exploration of post-secondary educational opportunities

    • Interview training and resume assistance


    Getting involved

    School or community-based organization representatives
    If you are a school or community-based organization representative interested in CVS Health’s myCVS Journey partnership opportunities for your students, please contact the Workforce Initiatives team to be connected with your local CVS Health representative.

    Students
    If you are interested in participating in the myCVS Journey program, please contact your school or community-based organization’s representative.

    Download the myCVS Journey program brochure for more information.

    Path to Better Health Study 2020

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    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.” 

    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. 

    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.

    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 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.

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    Expanding precision oncology care

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    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.

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