Chronic diseases place a significant burden on our population health and the broader health care system. Today, one in two Americans has at least one chronic disease and 85 percent of our health care dollars are spent on caring for patients with these diseases annually.
Turning the chronic disease paradigm requires improving health care affordability and access locally. For example, a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult and sponsored by CVS Health reinforced the need to lower health care costs and expand access to providers in communities nationwide. When asked about the factors that prevent Americans from being as healthy as they could be, 60 percent of respondents say that the cost of health care serves as a barrier, while 43 percent of respondents say that access to providers could be improved.
Promoting Healthier Communities through Free Preventative Care
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans miss 69 million days of work annually due to reported illness. Preventative care, including screenings and health assessments, is key to staying healthy. CVS Health is committed to providing patients with the tools and resources they need to prevent illnesses, such as longer term chronic disease.
In its continuing commitment to improve access to affordable health care for all Americans, CVS Health recently launched its annual Project Health campaign at select CVS Pharmacy locations in 11 communities nationwide, with free health and wellness screenings. A total of 528 Project Health events will take place locally over the next four months in multicultural communities with a large number of uninsured or underinsured Americans.
Project Health, which has provided $122 million worth of free health services since 2006, offers an array of free comprehensive health assessment screenings, including blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose and total cholesterol screenings, which can help detect risk for chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Delivering Affordable Care Locally
CVS Health is working to bring affordable, high-quality care closer to home. Care delivered at our 1,110 MinuteClinic locations nationwide is up to 80 percent less expensive than comparable care provided at emergency rooms – making it easier for patients to manage their chronic health conditions between doctor visits.
Additionally, our 36,000 health care professionals, including pharmacists and nurse practitioners, are trained to provide medication counseling and disease management to support acute and chronic health conditions. These services help lower costs by improving medication adherence and preventing unnecessary hospital readmissions.
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.