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

Monday, December 7, 2015

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