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.
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.