CVS Health launches "Time for Care" encouraging individuals to prioritize primary health care needs

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the official launch of Time for Care, a campaign that reinforces the importance of accessing primary health care. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have appropriately focused on staying home to keep themselves and others healthy. Although this kind of physical distancing is still an essential component of preventing the spread of COVID-19, it is critical for people to continue prioritizing health care needs.

"While we remain focused on reducing the spread of COVID-19, we also need to make sure that we're encouraging people to get the care they need to avoid worse health outcomes in the future particularly people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease," said Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer for CVS Health. "The 'Time for Care' campaign drives that message home while reminding everyone of the precautions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Time for Care includes a national television ad, which launches today, along with a microsite, digital content, and Aetna member program components that address concerns for people with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as specific health issues such as high-risk pregnancies due to preeclampsia. To help inform the campaign's design, Aetna and Morning Consult initiated a national survey among 4,400 Americans to identify barriers to accessing care amid COVID-19.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans said they have canceled or delayed a health care appointment due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 since the pandemic began

  • Half of Americans have concerns the pandemic has negatively affected their own health or the health of someone in their household

  • Nearly 60 percent of people with chronic conditions are concerned the pandemic has negatively affected their own health or the health of someone in their household

  • Fifty percent of pregnant mothers are not confident their primary care physicians have put the necessary measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 has deeply affected the Black and Hispanic communities across the U.S. where higher rates of chronic conditions are common. CVS Health is actively working to address these racial and ethnic health disparities by expanding community-based testing in underserved areas. More information is available on CVS Health’s COVID-19 testing information and locations page.

Dr. Graham added, "Now is the time to reevaluate both our physical and mental health needs not only for our families, but for ourselves. We all need to find ways to actively and safely reconnect with health care providers and encourage loved ones to do the same."

To learn more, visit aetna.com/timeforcare and follow #TimeForCare to join the conversation.

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.

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Ethan Slavin
SlavinE@aetna.com
860-273-6095

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

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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.

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

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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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New research at ASCO 2020 reinforces the value of CVS Health offerings

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Identifying unaddressed challenges to better ensure quality, cost and access

We believe that in order to improve the health care quadruple aim — better quality, lower cost, and improvements in both patient and provider experience — the important first step is identifying the unaddressed challenges. This helps build a framework for developing strategies and solutions that address the areas of need. While treatments themselves are incredibly important, research that helps identify such gaps is critical, because it enables us to ensure clinically appropriate access and services to improve health outcomes for patients, and to develop comprehensive solutions that help payors manage costs.

Each year, the oncology community comes together at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) annual meeting to unveil the latest research in cancer care. While the meeting is most known for debuting breaking advancements in cancer treatments, the data presented goes far beyond. At this year’s meeting, we will be presenting data reinforcing the importance of innovative specialty management in cancer care. Here, we share some of the highlights:

Digital engagement helps support patient adherence

It is not uncommon for a patient on specialty medications — especially when they first begin treatment — to experience unpleasant side-effects. Treatment non-adherence as a result of that is all too common, and an ongoing challenge for patients and health care providers. Secure messaging has been shown to improve medication adherence in patients. In one abstract presented at ASCO, we examine how digital engagement in the form of secure two-way messaging from a nurse helped improve patient adherence to an oral chemotherapy known for significant adverse side-effects. Our research found that using CVS Specialty’s secure messaging platform to determine whether patients were experiencing common medication side effects enabled nurses to get involved quickly, leading to an improvement in patients’ symptoms and adherence to therapy. Secure two-way messaging is one of the digital and online engagement tools CVS Specialty uses to help patients better manage their conditions.

Precision treatment: Better outcomes, more cost-effective care

Unfortunately, lung cancer patients are frequently diagnosed late with advanced or metastatic disease. However, it’s been shown that targeted therapies can increase survival when compared to conventional treatments. Broad gene sequencing tests help support use of targeted therapies by identifying the best treatment for a specific patient. A CVS Health analysis found that by identifying the broader genomic landscape of a patient’s tumor early on, doctors armed with this information make timely and precise treatment decisions, which ultimately can lead to better outcomes and are more cost effective. The findings are an example of the types of analytics CVS Health is evaluating consistently to inform programs focused on transforming the oncology experience for patients and their support teams.

The challenge to increasing biosimilar prescribing

Biosimilars are the fastest-growing class of therapeutic products in the United States. Despite the availability and proven efficacy and safety of biosimilars, their uptake has been slow. This is, in part, due to patent litigation and pay-for-delay strategies by brand manufacturers that often delay the launch of many of these products, even after they’ve been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As part of the research we are presenting, we surveyed oncologists to evaluate their willingness to prescribe biosimilars. While those surveyed deemed biosimilars to be safe and effective, physicians reported there were still certain factors that affected their willingness to prescribe. Given the potential of biosimilars to create competition and therefore lower cost, we continually monitor the pipeline to optimize the use of lower cost therapies and expand our value-based provider contracts in order to help improve patient access. 

Data can improve patient care journey, payor and provider tools

We will also be presenting data from Novologix, CVS Health’s proprietary technology platform, which demonstrated that by engaging oncology practices through an enhanced payor-provider partnership and training providers on the prior authorization tool, we can help facilitate higher-quality oncology care. As part of another study, we surveyed patients on their cancer treatment history and care experience, as well as how they worked with their health care providers. We also surveyed health care providers for information on their practice, their referral process for their patients to an oncologist, and how they engage with their patients. There were two key findings. First, there is a compelling opportunity to develop a data-driven oncologist selection tool that helps primary care providers direct their patients to high-quality and low-cost oncologists. Second, it is important for providers to initiate the conversation around an advanced directive at the start of a patient’s cancer care in order to help those close to the patient fully understand their desires for end-of-life care.

This research is part of our ongoing focus on helping transform the health care experience for all patients while addressing challenges of oncology management for payors.

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Data analytics uncovers opportunities to help members at risk for COVID-19

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Aetna’s clinical and customer service teams are helping to support Medicare and other members who at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and may suffer serious illness from the virus. The enhanced outreach is thanks to a new patient risk tool developed by a cross-functional team of CVS Health clinical and data analytics colleagues.

The unique tool, which utilizes data from published clinical studies, Aetna claims data and publicly available COVID-19 tracking information, helps identify members who live in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases and may be at increased risk for severe infections.

“The COVID-19 pandemic does not impact our membership evenly. Medically complex members living in hotspots are at particularly high risk,” said Daniel Knecht, M.D., Vice President of Health Strategy and Innovation. “This new model, which offers a county-by-county overview, helps us direct our telemedicine, nurse case management, and other patient resources where they’re needed most.” 

A number of pre-existing health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and hypertension, are believed to increase the risk of serious outcomes from contracting COVID-19. By determining which Aetna members live in geographic areas with large numbers of COVID-19 cases and may have higher risk factors, clinical and customer service teams can connect with members by phone and other means to help them understand their personal risks. Case managers also discuss the importance of proper social distancing, good handwashing and other hygiene techniques, as well as potential symptoms of COVID-19.

“This model allows us to produce a daily map that lets us understand what’s happening across the country,” said Gui Woolston, Vice President, Clinical Product Analytics. “By calculating the high-, moderate- and low-risk Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial populations, we can ensure that our outreach is appropriate to the patient’s needs.”

Engagement ranges from phone calls to digital outreach or mailed postcards, all centered on sharing critical prevention strategies as well as helping to assess symptoms, where needed. Case managers and customer service representatives educate members about enhanced benefits that have been put into place during the pandemic. And they connect members with the additional social support and other services they may need to stay well during the pandemic.

“If there’s a second wave of the pandemic, it will be important that we have this infrastructure in place and ready to deploy,” Knecht said, adding that the model could be helpful in other types of public health incidents.

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It’s no surprise that COVID-19 is exposing health disparities

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By Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Impact, CVS Health and Dr. Oliver T. Brooks, President of the National Medical Association

Despite the heroic efforts of health care professionals across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our health care system like never before. It has also made clearer problems that our health care system has been facing for many years, including disparities in potentially deadly conditions based on people’s race and ethnicity.

Based on early data, we are seeing that COVID-19 is impacting African Americans at a disproportionate rate. While African Americans make up 14% of the overall population in Michigan, they account for approximately 33% of COVID-19 cases and 39% of deaths caused by the disease in the state. Black people make up nearly 60% of all COVID-19 deaths in Louisiana and nearly 50% of cases and roughly 60% of deaths in Chicago – both much higher rates than their percentage of the overall population. We are seeing similar results in the Charlotte and Milwaukee areas, both centers of African American communities within their respective states.

The pandemic hitting African Americans harder is not an isolated incident. There is a long history in our country of African Americans facing challenges related to socioeconomic status, education and access to health care. Where someone lives can directly impact their overall health and life expectancy during “normal” times, so in a situation like a pandemic, this issue is multiplied – particularly for higher-risk communities. These social determinants of health play a significant role in the higher rates of common chronic conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in African Americans. Not only is COVID-19 another example of a health issue being seen in this community more frequently than other racial and ethnic groups, but these social determinants and underlying health conditions also make individuals more susceptible to the potentially fatal impact of COVID-19.

While we are facing an unprecedented health challenge, we also have the opportunity to quickly react and do things differently than we have in the past. With that in mind, CVS Health recently opened large-scale, rapid COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites in Georgia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Working in collaboration with federal and state officials, the test sites will bolster state efforts to manage the spread of the virus and provide on-the-spot test results. Testing at these new sites will be held in large parking lots that are easily accessible and able to accommodate multiple lanes of cars at one time. Rapid COVID-19 testing will be available to eligible individuals who meet criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state residency and age guidelines.

Even though these sites are intended to increase access to testing for all individuals in these areas, we understand that we need to do more to reach historically underserved communities. Starting at our Atlanta test site, CVS Health will work with the National Medical Association to engage minority physicians regarding the availability of testing in the area. As the nation’s oldest and largest organization of African American physicians, the NMA and its members can help get more African Americans to rapid COVID-19 testing sites, improving access to necessary care during this crucial time. This collaboration can also reinforce the importance of measures that all individuals can take to help prevent the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and proper handwashing.

As we potentially expand testing sites to other locations, we will use a similar strategy with NMA local chapters. We also will engage community partners that we have developed relationships with over many years – such as members of the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, as well as churches and faith-based institutions – to raise greater awareness of COVID-19 symptoms and access to testing.

We have seen groups across the health care system come together for the greater good in the past few months, and we have an opportunity to do the same for a population that has always been disproportionately challenged when it comes to health.

By working together, we can flatten the curve and help save lives.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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Using data to drive value to our members

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From opioid misuse, gene therapy and chronic care management to end-of-life issues and hospital acquired infections, our Clinical Insights and Analytics (CIA) team is using member data and medical knowledge to make an impact on the lives of the people we serve and set them on a path to better health.

CVS Health’s Clinical Insights and Analytics (CIA) team is using member data and medical knowledge to make an impact on the lives of the people we serve and set them on a path to better health.
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“We are a clinical think tank,” says CIA team member Rebecca Smith, a senior program manager. “We have the clinicians, the project management, the operational expertise and the data analysis all in one place, all working cohesively.

“We're all working towards the same goal, which is to drive better value of care for our members.”

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Millennials have the world at their fingertips but it's harming their health, CVS Health study finds

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Path to Better Health Study reveals opportunity to balance digital health with social connection

WOONSOCKET, R.I., July 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Millennials may be the first digital natives, but that love of technology could also be harming their health, according to the Path to Better Health Study by CVS Health (NYSE: CVS). The study, now in its second year, explores consumer health goals and asks providers what they need to help patients reach those goals.

Millennials a generation that came of age during the rise of technology and that has led a more transient, flexible lifestyle have more difficulty meeting new people or making social connections compared to other generations, notably consumers 65 and older, according to the study, which was published today. More than half (53 percent) of consumers aged 18–34 say they don’t know where to meet new people, compared to just 27 percent of people 65 and older and 35 percent of those aged 51–64. Nearly half (48 percent) of millennials also say they no longer have a desire to be social, compared to just 20 percent of consumers 65 and older and 35 percent of those aged 51–64, suggesting that older consumers may have different social needs.

That social isolation may be leading to increased problems with mental illness and abuse of alcohol. Forty-two percent say they struggle or know someone else struggling with mental illness (the highest of all age groups), and 35 percent cite having had problems or knowing someone who has had problems with alcohol use in the last five years (compared to 26 percent overall).

Consumers of all ages rate themselves as either good or excellent across most of the six well-being dimensions: character strengths (72 percent), sense of purpose and social connectedness (63 percent each), emotional health (62 percent), physical health (58 percent) and financial security (47 percent).

“Millennials who helped pioneer the use of the Internet and social media have a significant influence on health care transformation. Their need for greater support in making and maintaining social connections, and in achieving their mental health goals, indicates that we need a system focused not just on physical health but on total health,” said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health, and President of Aetna. “Our physical health is directly impacted by other important aspects of our lives including our mental health, social connections and financial health. The good news is that people are getting proactive about addressing these holistic concerns. Now, our health system must adapt to how consumers are approaching health care and be more inclusive and supportive of people’s total health.”

Integrating digital health tools to support personal connection

Transforming the health system in a way that balances digital health support with personal connection will be key to providing millennials and future generations the support they need in the ways most convenient to them.

Millennials, predictably, show a greater reliance on digital technologies, including health tools. Sixty-four percent of consumers aged 18–34 feel that being able to monitor their health is very or somewhat important, compared to 52 percent of those aged 65 and up. Their use of digital health tools varies as well, according to their respective health priorities. Electronic diaries or apps (28 percent), wearable trackers (27 percent) and calorie counters (26 percent) are the top three tools millennials use to track their personal health. Consumers 65 and older, meanwhile, use blood pressure monitors with tracking capabilities (24 percent), wearable trackers (15 percent) and blood or glucose monitors (13 percent) the most to track their personal health.

Although nearly half of millennials (46 percent) still value in-person walk-in office hours to communicate with their providers, their reliance on primary care physicians is the lowest of any consumer group. Just 45 percent say they receive routine care for minor illness or injury from a primary care physician, compared to 59 percent of those aged 35-50 and 76 percent of those 65 and older. Another 32 percent, meanwhile, receive such care at non-emergency walk-in clinics, and 14 percent at their local pharmacies the highest among all generations for both care settings.

“The existing system of episodic health care is falling short, but we are working to reinvent health care to better connect with all consumers, including millennials, and improve their overall well-being,” said Alan Lotvin, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer, CVS Health. “Through multiple initiatives, including our goal to dramatically expand HealthHUB services and locations, we are providing digital and physical connections that feel like essentially every other interaction in our life seamless, simple and easily available. By engaging consumers through local connections and providing personalized, daily support, we can radically change the way consumers engage in their health. That’s where we are going as a company and where we need to go as a nation.”

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Chronic health conditions are driving consumer health goals. The health goals consumers have today are centered around the top four chronic conditions they or someone in their household are facing: These include obesity and other weight concerns (42 percent), high blood pressure (40 percent), mental illness (32 percent) and diabetes (20 percent).
     
  • Women are more likely to report concerns with weight and living with mental illness. Nearly half of women (47 percent) say they struggle or have someone in their household struggling with obesity or other weight concerns, compared to just 31 percent of men. Women (36 percent) are also more likely to report suffering from or having someone in their household suffering from mental illness, compared to just 23 percent of men who report the same.
     
  • Supporting providers in enhancing digital capabilities could be key to unlocking better care outcomes. Providers need greater support in balancing digital adoption with caring for patients, but those who do receive such support and adopt digital tools are likely to record better patient outcomes. For example, 58 percent of providers who use patient portals recommend that their patients set health goals, compared to just 14 percent of providers who don’t use such portals. Using digital tools also helps providers spend more time with patients: Sixty-two percent who use mobile apps to communicate with patients are somewhat or very satisfied with time spent with patients, compared to 38 percent of providers who don't use mobile apps.
     
  • Value-based care is taking hold, and it lends itself to greater satisfaction among providers. More than half (62 percent) of providers say their practice is highly involved or becoming involved in the use of value-based care. Among those who have heard of such models, 57 percent are very satisfied with time spent with patients, versus just 43 percent of providers who haven’t heard of them. When it comes to supporting value-based care, meanwhile, pharmacists are the biggest proponents, with 93 percent saying it will positively impact patient health.

Read the full study here.

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 April and May 2019 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 six metropolitan statistical areas Atlanta, Austin, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and South Florida, 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. In 2019, the study was expanded to include nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation’s premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has more than 9,900 retail locations, approximately 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. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings. This innovative health care 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.

Contacts

T.J. Crawford
crawfordt2@aetna.com
212-457-0583

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

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Survey Finds Consumers More Likely to Get Vaccinated Following Last Year's Record Breaking Flu Season

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22 percent of those surveyedU.S. adults surveyed who did not get a flu shot last year say that knowledge of last year's severe flu season makes them more likely to get a flu shot this year

Flu vaccine now available at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking the start of flu vaccine availability, a new survey from CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) released today found that one in five (22 percent) of consumers surveyed who didn't get a flu vaccine last year say that knowledge of last year's flu season which had flu levels that were the highest observed since 2009 makes them more likely to get vaccinated this year. On a similar note, among the 27 percent of parents of children under 18 whose child did not get the flu vaccine last year, 26 percent say they are more likely to get their child vaccinated this year after learning about the notably high flu levels during last year's flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible and at least six months old get a flu shot when the vaccine becomes available, preferably by October. To ensure that patients are able to get the flu shot as soon as possible, all CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide now have the vaccine available.

The annual flu survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy in July 2018Survey was conducted in the United States by The Harris Poll on July 12-16, 2018, among 2,020 adults ages 18 and older. among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, also found that two-thirds (66 percent) of those surveyed get a flu vaccine every year, or plan to get one this year, a five percent increase from last year's survey findingsPlease note that the 2017 and 2018 surveys were run using different sample sources. YOY changes could be due in part to sample source variations and not solely changes in respondent behavior..

"Many people are looking for ways to stay healthy, especially during cold and flu season," said Papatya Tankut, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health. "This has led to an increase in those who are planning to get a flu shot this year, and we're hoping this results in fewer flu cases. CVS Pharmacy continues to be a partner in helping our customers combat the flu and helping them focus on their overall health in a way that works for them particularly in terms of convenience, access and affordability."

Doctors' opinions (39 percent), where insurance is accepted (38 percent), and convenience (33 percent) continue to rank among the top three factors in determining where to go for a flu shot among patients who have received a flu vaccine. Among the same group, the percentage who get vaccinated within a pharmacy stayed the same as last year at 22 percent, but there is a shift for those employed adults who get vaccinated at their workplace (previously 22 percent, now 15 percent) and those who get vaccinated by their primary care provider or other health care professional (previously 44 percent, now 48 percent).

Flu vaccinations are conveniently available seven days a week at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations nationwide with no appointment needed.Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last. Age restrictions apply. CVS Pharmacy can provide flu shots to adolescents (in some states, depending on regulations), adults and seniors. MinuteClinic can provide flu shots to children 18 months and up, adolescents, adults and seniors, making it easy to vaccinate the whole family in one trip.Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply. In addition, customers will receive a $5 off $25 coupon when they get a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic. Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 Target coupon.Offer available 8/13/18 12/31/18. You will receive a merchandise coupon valid for 1-time use at CVS Pharmacy locations. Terms and conditions apply to coupon use and redemption. See coupon for additional details. $5 savings applied to total qualifying minimum purchase of $25 (after other coupons and discounts are applied). Offer not valid in pharmacy locations in AR, NJ and NY. Offer not valid at MinuteClinic locations in MA, NJ, NY, PA and RI. Limit 1 per customer.

Up two percent from last year, 67 percent of those surveyed would still go to work if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. The biggest reason for going into the office among those who would go with the flu is not wanting to use paid time off (44 percent), while 38 percent are worried about lost wages. 37 percent say that they go to work simply because their company and/or boss would expect them to come in.

Other notable findings from the survey include:

  • Flu-like symptoms haven't stopped some people from going out in public:
    • 28 percent have gone to the supermarket
    • 12 percent have even picked up a child from school/daycare
    • 10 percent have taken public transport
  • Washing hands has long been touted as an effective way to stop the spread of germs 75 percent of those surveyed choose to do this as often as possible (up five percent from last year); other top methods include:
    • 55 percent drink more water
    • 50 percent take vitamins
    • 50 percent regularly use hand sanitizer
    • 50 percent wipe down surfaces with sanitizing wipes

"Surprising to many, it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity," said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. "Because of this, CVS Pharmacy recommends patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure patients are the most protected before flu season peaks. Furthermore, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it's very important to get vaccinated annually to make sure you are protected."

The flu vaccine is a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, fully covered and available at no cost through most insurance plans, including Medicare Part B. CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic can directly bill many national and regional health plans that cover all or part of the cost of a flu shot.

Consumers can visit CVS.com and/or MinuteClinic.com for more information and additional resources. They can also visit CVS.com or use the CVS Pharmacy app to locate a nearby CVS Pharmacy. Patients planning to go to MinuteClinic to get their flu shot can visit MinuteClinic.com to view wait times or schedule a visit online for a future date at their chosen clinic.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States between July 12-16, 2018 among 2,020 adults aged 18+ by The Harris Poll on behalf of CVS Pharmacy. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Please note that the 2017 and 2018 surveys were run using different sample sources. Year-over-year changes could be due in part to sample source variations and not solely changes in respondent behavior. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Amy Lanctot at alancetot@cvs.com.

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:

Amy Lanctot
alanctot@cvs.com
401.770.2931

 

SOURCE CVS Health

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