How a Trusted Partnership Helped One Type 2 Patient Live Healthier

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When Regina Wu first met Kenneth, she asked him about his diet and exercise — as CVS Health pharmacists routinely do with their patients. Kenneth, a 77-year-old man with diabetes and a sweet tooth who once weighed 286 pounds, said he often drank a liter of soda per day.

Regina immediately sensed a red flag.

“I know that soda is something people can become addicted to in a way,” she says. “It’s caffeinated, high in sugar, and people start to crave a soda fix. And soda is a big problem for blood sugar control.”

Research shows drinking sugary beverages like soda every day could increase a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26 percent. For those already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, soda consumption can hamper their efforts to keep their blood sugar at an acceptable level.

That certainly was the case with Kenneth. He took his medications diligently, but his A1C reading was 10.1 percent. A normal A1C is less than 5.7 percent, and the goal for type 2 diabetes patients is to keep their A1C levels below 7 percent. Kenneth was struggling enough with his blood sugar that his doctor increased his insulin dosages.

Losing weight and changing eating habits can be challenging if the problem seems large and insurmountable. Regina saw an opportunity to focus on a small, manageable change: reduce Kenneth’s soda intake.

It’s these kinds of interactions that CVS Health had in mind when we created our Medication Therapy Management program. The program is designed to allow CVS pharmacists to engage one-on-one with patients, identifying any barriers in their treatment, recommending lifestyle changes, and creating an ongoing dialogue to ensure that patients are taking their medication and getting the follow-up care they need.

Regina and her colleagues frequently work with type 2 diabetes patients: Approximately 1 in 10 Americans — or about 30 million people — have type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the disease typically surfaces in people over age 45, young adults, teens and children are increasingly being diagnosed.

Regina spoke every few months with Kenneth, urging him to drink even just one less can of soda. Then, in 2018, Kenneth was hospitalized with an infection, and he was hospitalized a second time about a year later. After Kenneth came home from the hospital, he cut back to two Diet Cokes a day. By May 2019, his A1C reading was 8.6 percent, much closer to his target level, and he now weighs 240 pounds. He’s on a 50-gram-carbohydrates per day diet, walks more often, his blood pressure levels have improved and his medication dosages have been reduced. He has kicked the soda habit completely, and has become an advocate among his family members to minimize soda drinking.

“I see the pharmacist as part of the care engagement team,” Regina says. “It really takes a village and the pharmacist is someone patients can talk to in between doctor visits or after hospital discharge. They get to know me, I get to know them, and it becomes a friendship, and with that trust, we talk about how to make small changes that can add up.”

To learn more about our enterprise-wide approach to diabetes management and care, visit our Managing Diabetes with CVS Health page.

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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Multi-Dose Packaging Is Making It Easier to Take Medications

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Lee Ann Pace was having trouble keeping up with her multiple prescriptions, sometimes running out of her medications before she got them refilled.

She’s not alone. Taking medications as prescribed is one of the best ways to control chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, but with dose changes, regimen changes, manufacturer changes and other barriers, keeping up with multiple medications can be a challenge.

That’s why we offer no-cost multi-dose packaging, making it easier for customers and members to take their medications and stay on their path to better health.

“Everything they need for each time of day is there packed together with their name, the information about the medication, the prescriber, lot numbers, expiration dates…all there for the patient,” says Lynn Parker, CVS Pharmacy manager.

Watch the video to learn more.

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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Antibiotic Resistance: Toward Better Stewardship of a Precious Medical Resource

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When 18-month-old Simon Sparrow woke up one morning in spring 2004, he was ill. By the afternoon, his face was swollen and he was having difficulty breathing. His parents brought him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with septic shock and received antibiotics.

The next morning, Simon was dead.

Simon’s death was caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. An indirect cause of Simon’s death was antibiotic resistance and the decades of overuse and misuse of drugs like methicillin, a synthetic version of penicillin.

Antibiotics are used to fight infections caused by bacteria. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics is accelerating the creation and spread of resistant bacteria, otherwise known as “superbugs.”

In a January 2018 white paper called, “Antibiotic resistance: Toward better stewardship of a precious medical resource,” Aetna International argues the antibiotic resistant bacteria crisis must be addressed through a global effort. The company believes the world must be better stewards of the antibiotics available today, while also working to develop more antibiotics for the future and address the underlying issues that led to the crisis.

“Stemming the rising tide of antibiotic resistance will take a global, multi-pronged effort. The industry must become better stewards of the antibiotics we have today, whilst working to develop more antibiotics for tomorrow,” said Mitesh Patel, M.D., a medical director at Aetna International. “A focus on harnessing big data will inform strategies that create better care for patients, as well as significantly decreasing the financial cost from antimicrobial resistance.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates at least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria each year in the U.S. Of those infected, about 23,000 dies from difficult to treat infections.

Although the biological causes of antibiotic resistant bacteria can’t be prevented, Aetna believes the societal causes – over-prescribing and misuse, use of antibiotics in agriculture, lack of research and poor hygiene and sanitation – can be addressed.

In the U.S., about 13 percent of outpatient visits, or 154 million visits each year, result in an antibiotic prescription, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Thirty percent of those prescriptions, or 47 million prescriptions, are deemed unnecessary.

Aetna sent letters to more than 1,100 clinicians in the United States in July 2017, who prescribed antibiotics to treat acute bronchitis, which is caused by a viral infection. The letters included information from the CDC on antibiotic resistant bacteria. This correspondence resulted in a significant percentage of the clinicians requesting further engagement with Aetna to tackle the issue.

The white paper also describes how health systems across the world are working to address the antibiotic resistant crisis. In India, multiple factors, such as high burden of disease, poor public health infrastructure, rising incomes and unregulated sale of cheap antibiotics, led to the country becoming one of the world’s largest consumers of antibiotics.

Indian Health Organization, an Aetna company, is taking a three-pronged approach to combat this. There is an emphasis on antimicrobial stewardship in clinical training. Audited medical consultations also include checking antibiotic prescriptions for dosage, duration and rationale for use. Physicians are also identifying and correcting antibiotic usage during consultations.

Aetna is also working with providers and members to increase awareness and education about antibiotic resistant bacteria and appropriate antibiotic use. The approach has led to antibiotic utilization across Aetna International’s membership to drop from 27 percent in 2014 to 18 percent in 2016.

Other organizations have also starting to take an increased look at combatting the antibiotic resistant bacteria crisis, according to the white paper. After Simon’s death in 2004, his mother partnered with the University of Chicago Medical Center and found the MRSA Research Center. The Research Center seeks to prevent, control and treat MRSA through scientific and clinical research, according to its website.

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CVS Health, Sheriff Tom Dart Announce Joint Effort to Raise Consumer Awareness about Safe Medication Disposal in Cook County, Ill.

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Sheriff Dart, CVS Pharmacy leaders urge consumers to safely dispose of unwanted medications, especially on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, this Saturday 10/27

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart today announced a joint effort to raise consumer awareness about the importance of safe medication disposal.

Approximately 150 CVS Pharmacy locations in Cook County will now provide patients with information about the Sheriff's Prescription Drug Take Back Program on packaging that accompanies the prescription. The information will help patients find their nearest safe disposal location.

Sheriff Dart joined CVS Pharmacy District Leader Pooja Patel, Pharm.D., at a CVS Pharmacy in Oak Park, Ill. today to highlight the importance of safe disposal in protecting the environment and preventing drug abuse and accidental poisoning. The announcement came in advance of Saturday's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

"CVS Health is dedicated to helping address and prevent prescription drug abuse and misuse, which is why we have worked to increase access to and awareness of safe medication disposal options in the communities we serve," said Tom Davis, R.Ph., Vice President of Professional Services for CVS Pharmacy. "Unused medications, especially opioids, should not be left in medicine cabinets where they could be at risk of misuse or diversion. We are proud to partner with Sheriff Dart to raise awareness of safe disposal and we look forward to adding to our collection totals this weekend on Take-Back Day."

"This partnership will help ensure more prescription drugs are safely disposed and not available for abuse," said Sheriff Dart. "In the midst of the unrelenting opioid crisis, this is an important step that can help ensure potentially dangerous prescriptions do not end up in the wrong hands."

The Sheriff's Prescription Drug Take Back Program began in 2012 and currently collects nearly 2,000 pounds of unused pharmaceuticals per month via 80 sites throughout the county. Additionally, CVS Health has installed year-round safe medication disposal units in 45 CVS Pharmacy locations and 33 local police departments in Illinois to further increase community access to safe and convenient locations to properly dispose of unwanted medications. Together, these units have already collected more than seven metric tons, or 15,600 pounds, of unwanted medication.

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans misused controlled prescriptions and often obtained them from family and friends. In-home medicine cabinets are often the source of diverted prescriptions, making it critical for patients to properly dispose of unused prescriptions in a timely manner.

Consumers can access the Sheriff's Prescription Drug Take Back Program to find a safe, convenient disposal location by visiting www.cookcountysheriff.org or calling 1-844-688-7379. Additionally, sites in Cook County and across the country can be found by using the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Collection Site Locator.

In addition to assisting with safe medication disposal, CVS Health is also working to combat opioid abuse by increasing access to the opioid overdose drug naloxone. CVS Pharmacy locations in 48 states, including Illinois, have standing orders, or similar protocols, which allow patients to obtain this medication without an individual prescription. CVS Health has also focused on opioid abuse prevention through the company's Pharmacists Teach program. This program connects CVS pharmacists to local schools to talk with students and parents about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, using a curriculum CVS Health developed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Nearly 7,000 students and parents in Illinois have participated in the program.

As a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), CVS Health offers programs to help its clients reduce opioid utilization for members when clinically appropriate. CVS Health also provides enhanced retail pharmacist-led patient counseling on safe prescription opioid use. These programs align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Cook County Sheriff Press Office
(312) 603-4242
ccso.communications@cookcountyil.gov

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Research Institute Provides Evidence that Digitally Engaged PBM Members Have Improved Medication Adherence and Reduced Costs

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Company introduces suite of new digital pharmacy tools to make medication adherence easier and more convenient

WOONSOCKET, RI – December 7, 2015 – New research from the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute provides evidence that CVS/caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) members who enroll in digital and online programs demonstrate improved medication adherence that may result in lower health care costs for clients.

“At CVS Health, we have been working to improve and enhance our members’ digital experience to help make adherence easier for them while reducing unnecessary health care spending for our clients,” said William H. Shrank, M.D., M.S.H.S, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer for CVS Health. “This research demonstrates the important role digital platforms can play in health care, and we have a tremendous opportunity to find innovative ways to utilize these platforms to make health care more convenient for our plan members and help our clients maximize their health care budgets.”

Researchers analyzed online use and claims data for CVS/caremark members to evaluate the impact of enrollment at Caremark.com on prescription utilization and medication adherence. Preliminary findings show that those members who enrolled online were more likely to fill their prescriptions and adhere to their medications. For example, up to 10 percent more members with hypertension improved their medication adherence to optimal levels after enrolling online at Caremark.com compared to members who did not enroll. As a result of improved adherence, CVS/caremark clients could save up to $2.3 million in medical cost avoidance annually per 100,000 registered users.

CVS/caremark members who enroll at Caremark.com can order and manage prescriptions online; check prescription costs and plan coverage; and track their individual or family’s drug related expenses for the year. Plan members can also sign up for prescription alerts and receive refill reminders and order status sent directly via email, text message or phone call. In addition, the CVS/caremark mobile app has tools to help members manage their health on-the-go and easily refill prescriptions by scanning bar codes on their prescription label.

New Digital Tools Make Medication Adherence Easier and More Convenient

The company also announced today a suite of new digital tools aimed at helping customers manage their health with more ease and efficiency. These tools are the latest examples of CVS Health leveraging digital initiatives across the enterprise to support the broader company purpose of helping people on their path to better health. The company’s Digital Innovation Lab continues to explore breakthroughs in mobile, personalization, multi-channel commerce connected health and digital therapeutics. Since the opening of the CVS Health Digital Innovation Lab in June, the team has been focused on developing cutting-edge digital services and personalized capabilities that empower people to manage their health wherever they are.

The new suite of digital tools, developed specifically to address issues facing CVS Health customers, include:

  • Apple Watch App Integration: The CVS/pharmacy mobile app is now Apple Watch compatible, to help notify customers when prescriptions are ready, and make it easy to refill prescriptions and check information at a glance. The app is also supported on mobile phones and tablets – making it accessible wherever CVS customers are.
  • Scan Paper Script: According to CVS Health research, it is estimated that a third of prescriptions are never filled. This tool enables customers to quickly and conveniently start the prescription fill process by capturing a photo of their written prescription through the CVS/caremark mobile app.
  • Insurance Card Scan: Customers can easily share new insurance information with their pharmacist by taking a photo of their insurance card, instantly updating data across our store systems. This tool not only removes the hassle for customers, but also frees up thousands of hours for our pharmacists, who can focus on speaking with patients instead of entering insurance information.
  • MedRemind: This function, which is now deployed in the CVS/pharmacy iPhone mobile app, helps customers stay on track with their medication schedules by enabling them to customize reminders to take their prescriptions at the right time and notifications to caregivers when a dose is missed. It also includes text reminders and the ability to receive reminders on the Apple watch. This solution directly aims to combat forgetfulness, a common reason for non-adherence.
  • In-Store Pharmacy Messages: As the retailer with the largest deployment of beacon technology, customers who have the CVS/pharmacy app installed on their mobile phone and who opt in to receive push notifications will be notified if their prescription is ready for refill or pickup when they enter the store. By providing customers with actionable reminders when and where they are most effective, we are finding new ways to drive adherence.

“Our digital innovation model is the synthesis of strategic partnership and rapid experimentation, and this new suite of tools – some of the first to emerge from our digital innovation lab – shows how effective our approach can be,” said Brian Tilzer, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer for CVS Health. “By addressing real problems, including medication adherence, through digital tools that are designed to make tasks easier and more convenient, we’re supporting our overall company strategy—to help people live healthier lives.”

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,900 retail drugstores, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
Christine.Cramer@cvshealth.com

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
Christina.Beckerman@cvshealth.com

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MinuteClinic Partners with the CDC to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

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Prescription antibiotics are a critical treatment for many illnesses. But there are cases when antibiotics aren’t needed or effective. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20 to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate.https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/healthcare/implementation/core-elements.html Besides exposing patients to adverse effects, a second and growing problem from inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is bacterial antibiotic resistance, a serious threat to public health. To help combat the over-prescription of antibiotics, MinuteClinic, the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, has partnered with the CDC to support antibiotic stewardship efforts.

The partnership is part of the CDC’s Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Challenge, a year-long effort to accelerate the fight against antimicrobial resistance across the globe. The AMR Challenge is a way for governments, private industries, and non-governmental organizations worldwide to make formal commitments that further the progress against antimicrobial resistance.

Advancing Our Education and Prescribing Efforts

As a partner in the AMR Challenge, MinuteClinic, which has more than 1,100 clinics across 33 states and the District of Columbia, will advance its ongoing efforts to educate patients about the appropriate use of antibiotics and support its more than 3,000 providers with the tools necessary to be antimicrobial stewardship leaders.

Antibiotic prescribing will continue to be a key component of MinuteClinic’s clinical quality review process, which includes safety reviews, ongoing performance measurement and national benchmarking.

Additionally, MinuteClinic will continue to provide evidence-based and high-quality care of infectious diseases. Antibiotic prescribing decisions will be supported by rigorous guidelines developed using clinical algorithms from leading professional societies and organizations, such as the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice.

The effectiveness of antibiotic prescribing guidelines used by MinuteClinic is underscored by recently published research in JAMA Internal Medicine.https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2687524 Researchers found that retail clinics had the lowest rate of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for respiratory diagnosis visits, when compared with urgent care centers, emergency departments and medical offices.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Meaningful Touchpoints with Providers

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Patients prioritize trust in health care delivery when selecting care in their communities. As a front door to health care, CVS Health is committed to serving as a knowledgeable and reliable health resource in communities nationwide. 

From assistance with prescriptions to treating minor illnesses and complex conditions, we offer meaningful touchpoints with health care providers across the continuum of care. Below are three key ways we are enabling real-time, high-quality interactions between patients and providers. 

Delivering Medication Support from Start to Finish

With an estimated annual cost of $290B, non-adherence is an expensive problem for the health care system.http://www.nehi.net/bendthecurve/sup/documents/Medication_Adherence_Brief.pdf CVS Health’s 30,000 pharmacists provide comprehensive medication support, helping to ensure that patients can afford their prescriptions and also take them as directed. For example: 

  • When a patient brings their prescription to be filled, CVS Health’s pharmacists use the Rx Savings Finder tool to review a patient’s prescription regimen, medication history and insurance plan at the pharmacy counter to determine the best way to save money on out-of-pocket costs.

  • CVS Health’s pharmacists provide ongoing medication counseling to help patients better understand their prescription medications, as well as recommend pharmacy services, such as automatic refills or prescription consolidation programs like ScriptSync that result in fewer trips to the pharmacy.

  • With 117 million Americans currently living with a chronic health condition and nearly 90 percent managing their disease with prescription medications, medication adherence is critical to preventing diseases from worsening. CVS Health’s pharmacists offer personalized support for CVS Caremark members through Pharmacy Advisor, a program that engages patients diagnosed with chronic conditions either face-to-face or by phone. 

Managing Health and Wellness Needs 24 hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

It’s not always easy or practical for patients to fit health services into their daily schedules. That’s why CVS Health provides extended hours and technological solutions to help patients receive care when they need it. 

The 125 health services offered at our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations are available during extended hours. These services are delivered by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are compassionate and highly qualified. In fact, MinuteClinic was the first retail clinic to receive a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission – helping provide peace of mind that care delivered conveniently can also be high-quality

We’re also leveraging technology to help patients interact with providers around the clock. For example, we recently launched a virtual health care offering through MinuteClinic that directly connects patients to providers via mobile phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through this, a provider can assess a patient’s condition and determine the appropriate course of treatment following evidence-based clinical care guidelines. 

Supporting Patients with Complex Health Conditions

Five percent of the U.S. population drives about 50 percent of total health care spending, with many of these patients dealing with complex conditions often requiring hospitalization. CVS Health recognizes that improving care outside of the hospital setting for these patients is an important step toward improving health outcomes and reducing preventable hospitalization and readmissions:

  • Through Omnicare, CVS Health offers personalized pharmacy support at post-acute care and senior living facilities.

  • Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services includes a clinical team of nurses, dietitians and pharmacists who deliver infusion therapies, education and support services to more than 50,000 patients each month.

  • CVS Health’s Specialty Connect™ prescription services program offers patients with complex conditions greater choice and flexibility to help them access their specialty medications and expert clinical support.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Helping Patients Manage and Prevent Chronic Disease

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Currently, more than half of all American adults live with one or more chronic diseases, increasing their risk of developing another. If rates of chronic disease, such as obesity, diabetes and heart conditions, remain on the same trajectory, the overall cost to our healthcare system will reach $42 trillion by 2030.FightChronicDisease.org/pfcd-in-the-states

Preventing chronic disease requires bringing high quality care closer to home.  At CVS Health, we’re committed to providing patients access to resources and tools in their communities that reduce their risk of developing costly and debilitating chronic diseases.

Strengthening Community Care

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls for implementing approaches that promote health and support healthy behaviors in states and communities. According to the CDC, approaches that reach more people in their communities are more cost efficient, and are more likely to have a lasting effect on population health.

We couldn’t agree more. CVS Health has a clear purpose: helping people on their path to better health. With more than 10 thousand communities across America reached by our services, we can help coordinate and personalize health care to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. 

Risk factors for chronic disease development can be attributed to lifestyle and genetic factors, including high blood pressure, tobacco use, physical inactivity, unbalanced diets and poor medication adherence.

Just as most chronic diseases are caused or exacerbated by many of the same risk factors, they can also be prevented or lessened by many of the same strategies and interventions. Between individual health care interventions such as getting screened and making diet and lifestyle changes, and population level interventions such as adapting local policies and environments to promote health, it is possible to catch and curb potential health concerns before they evolve into full-blown chronic conditions.

Managing Risk Factors to Prevent Chronic Disease

From making it easier for our customers to engage in healthier behaviors to providing health services and support to manage risk factors, CVS Health is committed to helping individuals mitigate and prevent chronic disease. We do this through:

  • Providing medication counseling – Our pharmacists work with patients to develop proactive medication management plans, including prescription refill reminders, that help individuals keep risk factors under control, manage existing conditions, and stay adherent to their medication and treatment regimens. Additionally, CVS Caremark offers clients the ability to adopt preventive drug lists, which make medications for many common, chronic conditions available at a $0 copay to the member, improving outcomes and saving cost.

  • Delivering health screenings – Our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations provide preventive health screenings and monitoring that help keep track of key risk measures for chronic disease such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants at MinuteClinic also help patients manage existing chronic conditions so they don’t worsen over time.

  • Helping people lead tobacco-free lives – In 2014, CVS Health became the first national retail pharmacy to stop selling tobacco products. Our commitment goes even further through cessation programs in our retail locations and strategies, partnerships and programs that are contributing to delivering the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.

  • Promoting healthy food offerings – In 2017, CVS Health stopped carrying foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils, the primary source of artificial trans fats in processed foods. We also dedicated 25 percent of checkout space at the front of our stores with better-for-you snack options, helping customers easily identify healthier options through the “Fit Choices” shelf tagging program.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve the quality, outcomes and affordability of chronic disease care, visit our Chronic Disease information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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ScriptPath: Prescription scheduling made easier

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CVS Health ScriptPath label system with multiple prescriptions
ScriptPath label system with multiple prescriptions
CVS Health personalized ScriptPath schedule, label and overview
ScriptPath schedule, label and overview with personalized prescription information
CVS Health ScriptPath new prescription label
ScriptPath new prescription label

The Mayo Clinic recently reported that more than 50 percent of Americans take two prescription medications, and 20 percent of Americans take five or more prescription medications.http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/ Unfortunately, increased complexity in a medication regimen can also result in a decrease in medication adherence.

To help simplify medication management for patients with multiple prescriptions, CVS Pharmacy has introduced the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule. This new tool provides a complete picture of the patient’s current CVS Pharmacy prescription information all in one place, including: Name of medications, when to take each medication and how much medication to take in each dose.

ScriptPath uses easy-to-understand icons to improve patient understanding and enhance patient safety by simplifying how patients take medications and how caregivers give them.  The system automatically reviews all of a patient’s current CVS Pharmacy prescription information and prescribers’ instructions, and then, using clinical data, provides a schedule of the most effective times of day to take the medications.

“Fifty percent of patients struggle with understanding how and when to take their prescription medications, and for those with complex prescription regimens it can be even more challenging,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “By providing them with a clear and concise dosing schedule, which incorporates all of their current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions and reduces the number of times a patient takes medication each day, we can help improve medication adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes.”

Available in English and Spanish, the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is available at all of CVS Pharmacy’s more than 9,700 retail pharmacy locations nationwide, upon request. Because the Prescription Schedule will be most helpful to the more than nine million CVS Pharmacy patients who take more than five medications each day, those patients will be offered a consultation with the store pharmacist when they pick up their prescriptions. The pharmacist will review the Prescription Schedule and the information it provides.

“Patients who take their medications as prescribed have better health outcomes than those who do not. By providing our patients with the personalized information and guidance needed to manage their medications, and make it easier to understand and follow prescribers’ directions, we can help them remain adherent and better maintain their overall health,” said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Services, CVS Pharmacy.

CVS Health partnered with Deborah Adler, a designer renowned for her past work on Target’s ClearRx prescription packaging system, to ensure all of the elements of the new ScriptPath prescription management system were easy for patients to read and to understand. Adler, the inventor and lead designer of the new ScriptPath system, worked with the CVS Health team to develop the easy-to-understand icons and an intuitive layout for each of the ScriptPath offerings.

The Prescription Schedule is the first offering in the ScriptPath prescription management system, designed to help with medication management and improve medication adherence. Other tools, including a new prescription vial label, are expected to be introduced in 2018.

CVS Health ScriptPath label system with multiple prescriptions
ScriptPath label system with multiple prescriptions
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Simplifying Medication Schedules with ScriptPath

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The ScriptPath label and schedule.
The ScriptPath label and schedule.

Medication adherence can be a challenge, particularly for patients with chronic illnesses that require multiple prescriptions, each with their own dosage time, frequency and amount. To help improve adherence, CVS Health has created the ScriptPath prescription management system, a set of tools that includes a customized schedule and bottle label designed to make it easier for patients to navigate their prescription schedule.

How ScriptPath Works

The ScriptPath prescription management system utilizes a robust scientific system to automatically review all of a patient's CVS Pharmacy medications and prescribers' instructions. That information is then used to generate a ScriptPath Prescription Schedule, which provides a complete picture of a patient’s current CVS Pharmacy prescription information, including dosage information, all in one place.

Patients who request a ScriptPath Prescription Schedule are offered a consultation with a store pharmacist when they pick up their medications.

More recently, CVS Health introduced the ScriptPath Prescription Label and Prescription Overview. With features like clearer directions, larger text and color-coded icons, the label and overview, like the schedule, were created to increase a patient’s ability to understand their prescription and dosing information, as well make reordering easier.

Designed by Deborah Adler, owner of Adler Design, the ScriptPath system recently earned a Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute Excellence Award.

Each element of the ScriptPath prescription management system is available in English and Spanish at all of CVS Pharmacy’s more than 9,700 retail pharmacy locations nationwide.

The importance of medication adherence

The average American adult fills between nine and twenty prescriptions per year.Michael S. Wolf et al. “Helping Patients Simplify and Safely Use Complex Prescription Regimens.” Archives of Internal Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21357804 At the same time, medication adherence falls by 5.7 percent to 6.8 percent with each dose added to a medication regimen.Craig I. Coleman et al. “Dosing Frequency and Medication Adherence in Chronic Disease.” Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy. September 2012. https://www.jmcp.org/doi/abs/10.18553/jmcp.2012.18.7.527

When patients with chronic conditions do not keep up with medications, it makes adverse health events more likely. For instance, a patient who fails to take blood pressure medication as prescribed will be at higher risk for more serious conditions, like a stroke or heart failure. These instances can add up and put significant strain on the health care system.

“Fifty percent of patients struggle with understanding how and when to take their prescription medications, and for those with complex prescription regimens it can be even more challenging,” said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “By providing them with a clear and concise dosing schedule, which incorporates all of their current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions and reduces the number of times a patient takes medication each day, we can help improve medication adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes.”

The ScriptPath system is designed to improve patient understanding and safety, help simplify how patients take their medications, and, ultimately, increase medication adherence. It’s one more way CVS Health is helping patients on their path to better health.

Pill bottle with ScriptPath label
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