Helping members stay well, at home

Bottom of the article

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and other benefit plan sponsors are searching for more ways to support members’ health. People are experiencing both physical and mental challenges as they cope with isolation, economic hardship, disruptions to normal work and school routines, and the virus itself.

CVS Health is making it easier for employers and health plans to meet these growing challenges with the expansion of our Point Solutions Management offering. This program enables plan sponsors to more efficiently administer apps, online trackers and other digital point solutions that support their members’ self-care routines at home.

“Digital point solutions can help people manage important wellness areas like mental wellbeing, fitness and weight loss from the safety and convenience of their own homes,” said Sree Chaguturu, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CVS Caremark. “Employers and other plan sponsors increasingly are looking for better ways to include these kinds of tools in their benefits packages — especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The recently added solutions have passed CVS Health’s rigorous vendor evaluation process to ensure that they support health outcomes while helping to reduce costs. The five new point solutions available to CVS Caremark clients through Point Solutions Management include:

  • Daylight: A fully automated and highly personalized mobile app to tackle worry and anxiety, based on cognitive behavioral techniques. 

  • Naturally Slim: An online program that uses informative videos and learning tools to teach individuals how to lose weight and improve their overall health.

  • Vida: A weight loss program with an app that pairs individuals one-on-one with a health coach, helping members achieve their health goals through phone and video conversations.

  • WW: Weight Watchers reimagined — A weight loss app providing access to food and fitness trackers, thousands of delicious recipes, and community support.

  • Kurbo: A digital program for children and teens ages 8 to 17 that teaches users how to make healthier choices and lifestyle changes through weekly video coaching, in-app chat, messaging, games, and educational videos.

These solutions join Hello Heart, Hinge Health, Sleepio, Torchlight, and Whil that are available to CVS Caremark clients through our Point Solutions Management program.

Point Solutions Management is a full-service offering that leverages the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) infrastructure to help clients evaluate solutions, streamline vendor contracting, billing, eligibility verification and reporting. In total, ten solutions are now included as part of the program — addressing a broad range of health care concerns including chronic condition management, musculoskeletal health, stress reduction, mental health management, weight loss, and caregiver support.

This expansion is the latest in CVS Health’s ongoing innovation strategy, focused on meeting emerging client and member needs — while responding to acute concerns arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to regularly evaluate and update the offering to include additional vendors that support improved outcomes and help lower costs across key areas of health, including fertility, financial wellness and the social determinants of health.

For plan sponsors interested in learning more about Point Solutions Management, please visit the Point Solutions Management page on our Payor Solutions website.

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
2
Display Hero
On
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience

Multicultural products and services

Every day, millions of people shop in our stores, fill their prescriptions through our mail order pharmacy, or visit one of our MinuteClinics. These customers, clients and patients come from countless backgrounds and cultures, and have distinct and varied needs.

To best serve them, we offer a wide array of multicultural products online and in our CVS Pharmacy stores. We evaluate our multicultural products frequently and work hard to offer a variety of items that meet our customers’ needs.

Our most popular multicultural product lines include: Milani cosmetics, Gamesa cookies, Fabuloso household cleaners, Suavitel fabric softeners, La Costena grocery items and Ricitos de Oro baby care items.


Evolving to meet customer needs

As the nation’s demographics shift, we’re making sure our products and services evolve to meet the needs of our customers. We acquired Navarro Discount Pharmacy, a leading Miami chain with deep knowledge and experience serving the Hispanic market. We’re gaining insights about how Navarro merchandises products differently and learning about the services, products, value, and atmosphere that resonate with Hispanic customers, and we’ll be rolling out what we’ve learned to all CVS Pharmacy stores.

In addition, our retail website, CVS.com, is fully available in Spanish. We also feature multi-language signage in our retail stores and distribute prescription medication-related information in multiple languages.


Increasing access to health care

For more than a decade, our free Project Health screening events have been held in the largest multicultural communities we serve. Project Health offers free comprehensive health risk assessments, including blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose and total cholesterol screenings, as well as information about smoking cessation and health insurance options.

Project Health is part of our company’s effort to improve access to health care and ensure that cost is not a barrier to important preventive services.  

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
1
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.” 

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.

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
8
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Audience

CVS Pharmacy introduces new app feature for reading “talking” prescription labels

CVS Pharmacy introduces new app feature for reading “talking” prescription labels
Top of the article

New Spoken Rx feature in the CVS Pharmacy app is the result of a collaboration with the American Council of the Blind

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy announced that it has developed Spoken Rx, a new feature of the CVS Pharmacy app that can read a specific type of label for patients with visual impairments and those who cannot read standard print labels. Spoken Rx is the first in-app prescription reader application to be developed by a national retail pharmacy.

By the end of 2020, 1,500 CVS Pharmacy locations will be equipped to affix special RFID labels to prescription vials. When the RFID labels are scanned by Spoken Rx in the CVS Pharmacy app, which can be accessed by users using Siri or Google Assistant on their phones, prescription label information will be spoken out loud. This information, which is important for patient safety and adherence, currently includes patient name, medication name, dosage and directions and will be enhanced to include additional information over the months to come. Spoken Rx will be available in all CVS Pharmacy locations by the end of 2021.

Enrollment in the program is seamless and can be done either over the phone or in store where a pharmacist can ensure the patient's app is appropriately set up for the service. Spoken Rx is free to CVS Pharmacy patients and the app will read prescription label information aloud in either English or Spanish.

"The in-app feature gives patients more flexibility, providing the pertinent prescription information out loud wherever and whenever they need it," said Ryan Rumbarger, Senior Vice President, Store Operations at CVS Health. "Spoken Rx provides a more seamless experience to our patients who are visually impaired."

Today's announcement is the result of collaboration between CVS Pharmacy and the American Council of the Blind, which worked with CVS and tested the technology throughout its development.

"Spoken Rx is a positive step that offers same-day, access for prescriptions filled in CVS stores, allowing for a greater level of privacy, safety, and independence for blind and visually impaired customers of all ages," said Kim Charlson, immediate past president of the American Council of the Blind." We're pleased about this addition to the existing braille, audio, and large print accessible prescription label offerings provided by CVS Caremark and CVS.com."

For more information on Spoken Rx and a list of active stores please visit CVS.com/spokenrx

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.

About American Council of the Blind (ACB)

American Council of the Blind is a national consumer-based advocacy organization working on behalf of blind and visually impaired individuals throughout the country with members organized through seventy state and special interest affiliates. ACB is dedicated to improving the quality of life, equality of opportunity and independence of all people who have visual impairments. Their members and affiliated organizations have a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs which will enhance independence for people who are blind and visually impaired. More information about ACB can be found by visiting www.acb.org.

Media contacts

Stephanie Cunha
CVS Pharmacy
Stephanie.Cunha@CVSHealth.com

Kim Charlson
American Council of the Blind
Phone: 617-501-5752
kimcharlson@acb.org

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Press Release
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
3
Display Hero
Off
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience

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
9
Display Hero
On
Audience

How telehealth connects patients to care

Bottom of the article

Through virtual visits we’re helping more people on their path to better health. For many, it’s a new kind of care.

Adam Pellegrini Portrait
"As the country reopens, telehealth will play an important role providing health care,” says Adam Pellegrini, Senior Vice President, Transformation Consumer Innovation and Enterprise Virtual Care.

As COVID-19 began to spread, ChuckName changed to protect patient privacy. , a 62-year-old chef with a heart condition, sheltered-in-place at his partner’s remote Colorado ranch. After developing a fever, cough and upper respiratory symptoms, Chuck scheduled a telehealth visit, which allows patients to virtually consult a doctor by video chat or by phone. 

Like 90% of Americans before the pandemic, Chuck had never tried telehealth services. Now, with health insurers temporarily waiving co-pays and the federal government easing regulations, telemedicine may have reached a tipping point.

“I had a lot of anxiety,” says Chuck. “That stress was alleviated knowing that I could be in the middle of nowhere and feel like I have a doctor right there by my side.”

As the country reopens, telehealth will play an important role providing health care, says Adam Pellegrini, Senior Vice President, Transformation Consumer Innovation and Enterprise Virtual Care, CVS Health.

“We are focused on how we can help the consumer navigate to the right care for the right medium in a way that has the best health outcome.”

Like Chuck, nearly three-fourths of respondents in a 2020 survey would consider using a telehealth service if they had COVID-19 symptoms, and two-thirds say the pandemic increased their willingness to try telehealth in the future.

In the first quarter of 2020, virtual visits though MinuteClinic® locations grew about 600% over the same quarter in 2019. Aetna also experienced a dramatic increase in daily telehealth engagements. 

Going forward, telehealth will be an integrated part of an individual’s overall health care journey, says Pellegrini, citing CVS Health’s unique combination of Aetna’s broad network of health care providers and its nearly 10,000 retail pharmacies in communities across the United States. 

“Because of the holistic approach we have with our assets, we can actually map a patient’s entire care process to make it as seamless and as frictionless as possible,” says Pellegrini.

“Early action keeps people healthy, which benefits patients, doctors, and insurers,” says Justin Steinman, Vice President, Commercial Products, for Aetna. “If we can get you to care quickly because telemedicine is convenient, it’s going to be a win-win-win for everybody.”

Chuck, now 100% recovered, expressed enthusiasm for new ways to use telemedicine. “It’s exciting that even during a stressful time, I’ve had an experience like this open me up to a possible paradigm shift in my connection with the medical community,” he says. “Sometimes real good comes out of tough times.”

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars

Fighting COVID-19 with your wearable

Bottom of the article
Attain by Aetna℠

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

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

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

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

“Over 92% of participants claim that Attain is helping them get healthier, and that is leading to early indications of better health outcomes and lower medical costs for the members.” — Ben Wanamaker, VP of Analytic Products, CVS Health
Tweet this

A way to contribute to the fight against COVID-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attain by Aetna℠
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
0
Display Hero
Off
Campaign
CSR Pillars
Audience

The right care, right now

Bottom of the article

When Justin Steinman arrived at his Wellesley, Massachusetts office on March 4, he readied himself for a busy day. Although not yet extreme, confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the CDC were rapidly emerging and had jumped overnight from 98 to 164 cases in the United States.

The forefront of telemedicine

At 11:00 AM, Justin’s phone rang.

On the line was Dan Finke, Executive Vice President, Commercial Business and Markets, Aetna.

He asked Justin to brainstorm ideas on how Aetna could respond to COVID-19, specifically around increasing access to care and ensuring cost would not stop any member from receiving a COVID-19 test or treatment.

Telemedicine was a no brainer.

“Aetna has long been a believer in telemedicine,” said Justin Steinman, vice president, Commercial Products, Aetna. “We quickly figured out a way to expand telemedicine access. By using telemedicine, we ensure our members get the care they need from home, thus helping to lower their potential exposure to COVID-19, and also reducing the exposure risk providers face.”

The right risks with members in mind

Forty-eight hours later, Aetna announced its plans to waive Commercial member co-pays for all telemedicine services through June 4, 2020. Medicare soon followed suit, waiving telemedicine co-pays for all Medicare Advantage members until further notice. The launch would not have been possible without at least a dozen teams such as Clinical, Service Operations, Network, Legal, Compliance, Actuary, and Digital, who collaborated seamlessly.

“Other insurance companies were announcing plans to waive member out-of-pocket costs for telemedicine visits related to COVID-19, but we decided to take it a step further,” Justin said. “We realized that waiving member out-of-pocket costs for all telemedicine visits — not just COVID-19 — was the right thing to do.”

Many Aetna providers are virtual enabled. Aetna members can identify if their doctor is seeing patients virtually by checking DocFind, which is Aetna’s online provider directory. Under current government regulations, doctors can even see patients using Skype or FaceTime. Aetna members can also do a virtual doctor visit through Teladoc®, an industry leader in telemedicine.

“Since we announced the telemedicine co-pay waiver, our Teladoc member visit volume has grown,” Justin said. “The large majority of those visits are for reasons other than COVID-19-related symptoms. Member feedback is that they appreciate the speed and convenience of telemedicine, particularly at a time when we’re all being encouraged to stay home.”

MinuteClinic Video Visits are an affordable cash pay option for people who do not have health insurance, with visits costing $59. Video Visits are also covered by most Aetna insurance plans.

“The best way to keep people healthy is through relationships,” Justin said. “Keeping people healthy requires collaboration between the member, their medical providers, and Aetna. “And right now, telemedicine is a huge component of building and maintaining that relationship.”

A woman examines a bottle of medication while using a tablet computer.
Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Article
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
3
Display Hero
On
CSR Pillars
Audience

Medicare telemedicine update from Aetna President Karen S. Lynch

Top of the article

“Aetna is committed to ensuring our Medicare members have access to affordable, high-quality care, while remaining safe in their homes,” said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health, and President, Aetna Business Unit. “We continue to work closely with the Administration, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and local health departments on proactive steps we can take to support our Medicare members during this crisis. This group needs our support now more than ever.”

Until further notice, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason to all Individual and Group Medicare Advantage members. Aetna Medicare Advantage members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all Teladoc® virtual visits. Cost sharing will also be waived for real-time virtual visits offered by in-network providers (live video conferencing or telephone-only telemedicine services). Medicare Advantage members may use telemedicine for any reason, not just COVID-19 diagnosis.

This policy for our Medicare members is similar to the policy in place for Aetna Commercial insurance members announced on March 6 offering zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason.

Hide Media Contacts (Sidebar)
No
Press Release
Hide Share
Off
"Likes" Count
3
Display Hero
Off
CSR Pillars
Audience