CVS Caremark Comments in Health Affairs Blog on Role of Pharmacy and Retail-based Clinics in Accountable Care Models | CVS Health

CVS Caremark Comments in Health Affairs Blog on Role of Pharmacy and Retail-based Clinics in Accountable Care Models

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --In an article published today in the Health Affairs blog, CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) chief medical and scientific officers and others commented on a missing piece in the current approach to accountable health care models. While reforms to the health care payment system are transforming incentives for health care providers, the cost and ultimate value of prescription drugs has not been included. As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and policy makers reconsider the role of pharmacy in health care payment and delivery reform, retail pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers and retail-based clinics are already implementing innovative approaches to encourage medication adherence in order to improve outcomes and lower costs.

"This paper provides insight into a blind spot in the current approach to accountable care management, the role and impact of pharmacy care in promoting quality and lowering costs," said William Shrank, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer of CVS Caremark and lead author of the paper. "We believe that the appropriate use of prescription drugs will be central in realizing the vision of higher quality, lower cost health care and our pharmacies and Part D administrators are already actively engaged in programs to improve adherence, despite the lack of formal incentives."

The blog post highlights the absence of direct incentives encouraging the participation of Medicare Part D plans and pharmacists in managing care and presents a rationale for the important role that pharmacy can play in payment reform. The authors also review a number of innovative approaches that Part D plans and pharmacies have already introduced in the market that consider the value prescription drugs provide, while optimizing adherence. These approaches include:

  • Realigning incentives to promote adherence for cost-effective generics.
  • Monitoring pharmacy data to identify non-adherence and initiate pharmacist-led counseling and interventions.
  • The role of retail health clinics in supporting Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in the delivery of high-quality, efficient primary care services that are integrated with the medical home.
  • The role of pharmacies in both managing chronic diseases and keeping people healthy through screening programs and convenient vaccinations.
  • Reducing the risk of hospital readmission through hospital bed-side delivery of discharge medications and in-home medication reviews post-discharge.

"As ACO regulations continue to evolve, policymakers and providers need to be aware of the innovative solutions that have arisen to meet the needs of providers in a new payment landscape to promote more efficient, appropriate and consistent use of medications," said Patrick Gilligan, Senior Vice President, Health System Alliances at CVS Caremark. "To be successful, any policy solution should support a nuanced view of the value of medication therapy in improving health outcomes and reducing costs."

To view the full article, visit the Health Affairs web site at:

About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 64 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at

Media Contact:
Christine Cramer
CVS Caremark
(401)770 3317

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