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.”

Watch the video above to learn more.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Big data helping Aetna fight against “superbugs”

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Six ways to spend smarter for healthier people: Reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, prevent health care-associated infections, control asthma, prevent unintended pregnancy, and prevent diabetes.

Aetna is deepening its collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to fight one of the world’s deadliest health crises: the rise of ‘superbugs’ that are resistant to antibiotics.

Antibiotic stewardship is part of the CDC’s 6|18 initiative to “Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections.”

The CDC made antibiotic resistance a public health priority, and the CDC-Aetna program is focusing on six states where local public health leaders have made antibiotic over-prescription a priority: California, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.

Aetna partnered with these state health officials by sending letters to local providers when the company’s data showed prescribed antibiotics at a significantly higher rate than their peers.

“Working closely with states and the CDC helps us direct clinicians to local resources that best suit their patients’ needs,” said Hal Paz, M.D., Aetna’s executive vice president and chief medical officer.

Every year, 23,000 Americans succumb to antibiotic resistant infections and more than two million more are sickened by them.  This is not because patients lack access to treatment, but due to the massive over-prescribing of unnecessary antibiotics, which, over time, leads to the evolution of certain bacteria into drug-resistant “superbugs.”

With such a high burden of death and illness, and with an estimated global economic impact of over $1 trillion in the coming years, antibiotic resistance is emerging as one of the world’s deadliest health crises — Aetna is taking steps to fight it.

“This public-private partnership on the issue of antibiotic overuse is a great example of how we leverage big data to help our members obtain evidence-based care,” said Dan Knecht, M.D., MBA, Head of Clinical Strategy & Policy for Aetna.  “Moreover, this initiative promotes more prudent use of antibiotics, which not only protects our members from potential side effects of antibiotics, but reduces the long-term risk of developing superbugs.

“By arming physicians with actionable data and local health resources, we can go a long way toward ensuring that antibiotics are used in the safest, most-effective way possible.”

Last year, Aetna was the first health insurer to face this issue head on by directly reaching out to doctors and other prescribers armed with individualized prescribing data.

Dr. Paz sent personalized letters to approximately 1,100 clinicians who inappropriately prescribed antibiotics to treat acute bronchitis — a viral infection that is unresponsive to antibiotics.  In addition to informing these clinicians of their outlier status, the letters contained resources and guidance from the CDC on the “Avoidance of Antibiotic Prescribing for Acute Bronchitis.”

Aetna also sent out congratulatory letters to roughly 100 antibiotic stewardship champions for following evidence-based care for this condition.

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Moriarty at POLITICO Health Care Innovators

Moriarty at POLITICO Health Care Innovators
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Health Care Innovators is an event series by POLITICO, and sponsored by CVS Health, highlighting the new faces and best practices in health care innovation. At the series’ second event, Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, discussed how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna is challenging the status quo in health care.

Moriarty emphasized how our newly created model can innovate from within the current health care system by tackling the key challenges that patients face and improving the overall patient experience. 

Addressing Health Care Hurdles

Our health care system was not built to provide patients with the coordinated care and tools they need to manage their conditions and easily determine what is best for their health. According to Moriarty, uncoordinated care can lead to inferior outcomes and higher costs. Today, a huge portion of health care costs is allocated towards chronic disease management and data show that close to $500 billion of these costs are avoidable.http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/TL221_final.pdf

Moriarty highlighted how the CVS Health and Aetna combination provides the opportunity to address avoidable costs by providing patients with access to the right care locally.

In the case of diabetes, Moriarty noted that CVS Health can ensure that patients are healthier and costly adverse events are avoided. “We will have the ability to determine who is at risk of developing diabetes and provide them preventative counseling and services,” said Moriarty. “We can also improve health, reduce these numbers in the future and realize extensive savings by doing so – both for the patients and the system.”

Improving the Health Care Experience

CVS Health has set a very real goal of transforming the consumer health care experience. To meet this goal, Moriarty demonstrated how CVS Health can improve coordination across the care continuum and provide patients with more touchpoints to care.

Moriarty shared the example of a patient leaving the hospital to illustrate how the CVS Health and Aetna combination can simplify health care. Consider, for example, that while the patient may be well enough for discharge, she leaves with a complicated care plan in hand. It can be difficult to know where she should start and how to achieve better health outcomes. 

By fully integrating Aetna’ medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data and our 10,000 retail locations, the care plan prescribed by the doctor can be more seamlessly coordinated by CVS Health and the patient’s caregiver. We can provide adherence outreach to ensure she is taking her medications, or schedule a MinuteClinic follow up within 14 days post discharge if she is unable to see her provider. Whether it is filling the care gaps between visits to the doctor, providing clinical programs to ensure the patient stays well at home or increasing her utilization of lower-cost sites of care – we know we can make staying healthy easier and more affordable.

Moriarty also emphasized how CVS Health is working to improve health at the community level by providing patients with more engagement. Recently, CVS Health announced a five-year $100 million commitment to improve community health through increased access to free health screenings, additional volunteer hours in the communities we serve and expanded support for national and local organizations that are working on the front lines to improve health care. According to Moriarty, this investment will help address the social determinants of health, such as family, education, housing and access to fresh food, that impact patients’ health and well-being in communities nationwide.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access 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.

Tom Moriarty speaking at the Politico event.
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Looking Ahead: 2019 Health Care Trends

Looking Ahead: 2019 Health Care Trends
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The year 2018 was a transformative one for CVS Health as the enterprise played a lead role in advancing positive change in the health care system through our combination with Aetna and the launch of innovative solutions, such as Rx Savings Finder, MinuteClinic video visits and our PBM’s Guaranteed Net Cost pricing model. As we build on this momentum, we reviewed some of the trends that are expected to move the health system forward this year.

Experts suggest that three key trends will shape the industry in 2019:

  1. The use of analytics to inform care;
  2. Growing demand for digital health tools; and
  3. Increased focus on value-based care.

 

The Use of Analytics to Inform Care

This year, experts predict that data analytics will continue to evolve and improve care. For example, analytics capabilities have the power to promote earlier intervention and create efficiencies in health management.https://hceg.org/healthcare-executives-rank-the-top-10-for-2019/ This trend will also be supported by the expanded use of artificial intelligence (AI), which can quickly and seamlessly help patients and their providers identify appropriate care or treatment.https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/cleveland-clinic-unveils-top-10-medical-innovations-for-2019/?_ga=2.27776436.927803239.1540401678-1723484835.1539897327

As a newly combined company with Aetna, CVS Health will be able to couple digital analytics with face-to-face interactions to develop more personalized treatment plans for patients.  Furthermore, our partnership with Buoy Health – a technology company that utilizes advanced AI – provides consumers with real-time health assessments and then refers them to one of our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations nationwide, if appropriate.

Growing Demand for Digital Health Tools

Experts see digital health as a key area that will increasingly support chronic disease management and the aging population. According to Forbes, expansion of digital health technology will be spurred by the growing use of wearable devices, telehealth platforms and mobile health applications in 2019.https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2018/11/13/top-8-healthcare-predictions-for-2019/#2e71122a700e

CVS Health aims to transform the consumer health care experience through a combination of digital tools and – importantly – complementing that technology with high quality, easily accessible care. Our model delivers integrated care, while offering consumers the ability to interact with trusted and familiar health care experts where they are. It also arms consumers with convenient, easy-to-use technology that enables them to manage their care at any time from any place.

Increased Focus on Value-Based Care

Experts predict that the volume of value-based care models will continue to grow in 2019, as the industry focuses on reining in costs while improving outcomes. These models will increasingly prioritize quality data and risk-sharing frameworks to make health care more efficient and patient-centric.https://hceg.org/healthcare-executives-rank-the-top-10-for-2019/ At CVS Health, we believe that a focus on outcomes can help avoid unnecessary costs by connecting patients to the right care at the right time.

CVS Health’s value-based purchasing is part of our commitment to helping patients access appropriate medicines at the lowest cost. Additionally, our value-based management programs are targeted at the most costly and complex disease states, aiming to help control spend and improve health.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access 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.

In your opinion, which 2019 health care trend has the greatest potential to impact quality of care?

Choices
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Leaders on the Road: Key Themes from 2018 Events

Leaders on the Road: Key Themes from 2018 Events
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Throughout 2018, CVS Health leaders participated in industry-leading events and public forums to address some of the most pressing issues in our health care system. From Washington to Los Angeles, our leaders shared their vision for transforming the consumer health experience by making health care more local, easier to navigate and more affordable.

Key themes included:

Bringing Care Closer to Home

Serving as the front door to health care in 10,000 communities nationwide, CVS Health has long been committed to connecting patients to care when and where they need it. In 2018, our leaders highlighted how our combination with Aetna will build on this commitment by integrating care delivery at a local level and making our touchpoints to care more accessible and convenient.

Improving Care Coordination and Connectivity

Health care can be fragmented for many Americans, which can impose barriers for patients across various settings. In 2018, our leaders emphasized the need to improve connectivity and communication across the care continuum to help patients and their providers better manage conditions. 

  • Larry Merlo at Town Hall Los Angeles: “Today, nearly 70 percent of Americans across the country live within three miles of a CVS Pharmacy. You can walk right in and see a pharmacist to get information about your prescription or a nurse practitioner at one of our more than 1,100 MinuteClinics to get chronic condition monitoring or a lab test, with the results sent directly to your primary care doctor.”
  • Tom Moriarty, EVP, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, at a POLITICO Health Care Innovators event: “Health IT is key to getting past the fragmentation we see in health care. If you come into a MinuteClinic or are seen anywhere else in the CVS world, we can port that information back to your physician, or back to the health care system that serves as your primary care center.”

Addressing Rising Drug Costs

Nearly eight in ten Americans express concerns about prescription drug costs and the impact on their families’ budgets. At CVS Health, we recognize that one the most important things we can do is to help people take their medications, which improves overall health and lowers costs. Our leaders emphasized why integrating digital tools that enhance price transparency and expanding access to generics and biosimilars are key in our efforts to connect patients to the right medicine at the lowest possible cost.

  • Larry Merlo at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Spotlight Health: “We’re in the process of embedding our patients’ plan designs into [their] EHR so when the physician goes and puts a prescription in, he or she will be able to see the patient’s out of pocket costs, and up to five alternative [prescription medications] and the costs associated with each.”
  • Tom Moriarty at the POLITICO Pro Summit: “There are a number of solutions that we can implement today within the existing statutory and regulatory framework to reduce overall prescription drug costs in the system and for patients while also driving improved health outcomes through increased adherence.”

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access 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.

General Counsel Tom Moriarty speaks at a POLITICO event
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Improving Integration across Care Settings through Technology

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Health leaders rank care coordination as one of the biggest challenges to address in order to improve population health,https://www.qualityforum.org/Setting_Priorities/Improving_Healthcare_Quality.aspx underscoring the importance of arming providers with the right tools and technologies to deliver highly-personalized care solutions to patients.

By coupling the expertise of a pharmacy innovation company and a health plan, we are well-equipped to help providers address unmet needs in patients care. CVS Health and Aetna are expanding the use of technology and data to help complement providers’ holistic view of their patients’ health. Through our combined assets, we have the ability to improve connectivity among patients’ primary care providers to ensure high-quality care and continuity across care settings. This will, in turn, allow us to improve population health across the U.S.

Complementing Primary Care

One in three Americans views access to quality care as the most important health priority in their community. That’s why we are looking to narrow the distance between patients and their caregiving facility by leveraging digital data and making health care accessible in community locations. As a first step, we will be focused on staying in touch with the primary care doctor and integrating the care of the patient in a complementary way.

A combined company with our end-to-end capabilities enables better communication technology between the primary care provider, pharmacy and patient.

“We want to make health care easier to use by better connecting people,” says Dr. Alan Lotvin, Executive Vice President of Transformation at CVS Health.  “We are empowering the consumer to take a more active role in their health care by providing them with convenient tools and services that are seamlessly integrated within the overall health care ecosystem.”

For example, a connected glucometer could help monitor a patient's blood sugar and send an alert to a CVS Health provider for intervention if a patient's levels are too high. Between regular doctor visits, a patient with a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension could see a MinuteClinic provider for a series of tests to help understand how their medications are working, make adjustments to their therapeutic regimen, and receive tailored counseling on adherence and lifestyle management. In addition, telemedicine can also help fill the gaps between in-person visits to a local CVS Pharmacy or primary care provider. All information gathered during these visits could be captured and shared with their primary care provider and care team to help ensure connected care. This high-touch, integrated model could also be used to help patients transition from a hospital stay back to their home in order to help prevent unnecessary, costly emergency room visits or hospital readmissions.

Improving Population Health

Today, just five percent of the U.S. population is driving approximately 50 percent of total health care spending at more than $50,000 per patient annually. Many of these patients have common chronic diseases which, when unmanaged, can result in costly and sometimes debilitating medical complications.

Dr. Troyen Brennan, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health, believes that reaching the dual goal of helping Americans achieve better health and reducing costs requires a combination of digital health tools and face-to-face interactions. According to Brennan, combining CVS Health’s community presence with Aetna’s data will help ensure that patients are receiving the right care and managing their conditions efficiently.

“We can take the local ability to interact with patients, and combine it with the ability to understand population management based on the data that comes with an insurance company,” says Brennan. “We want to take the programs that Aetna has been running and utilize them to improve interactions between patients and providers in our stores – allowing our pharmacists, nurse practitioners and people who are informed about benefits to counsel patients and make sure they’re doing the right thing for their health.”

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Improving Health Care Delivery and Fostering Innovation

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Our country faces significant rises in health spending and increasing rates of chronic disease, but our health care system is rising to the challenge and developing some of the most innovative solutions in the world. At CVS Health, we’re leveraging multiple touchpoints with patients, payors and providers to help build a more efficient and effective way of delivering health care.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Current Health Care System

With chronic disease on the rise, health care costs continue to grow. Nearly half of American adults suffer from one or more chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. By 2030, it is estimated that the cumulative cost of chronic disease care will reach $42 trillion.

In addition to being common and costly, chronic diseases are also often preventable. Nearly half of American adults have at least one of three risk factors for heart disease or stroke and as of 2015, 15 percent of American adults were current smokers.

But there are opportunities to prevent and better manage chronic disease. Pharmacy-led solutions to improve medication adherence and advance care coordination can save money and improve outcomes. In fact, nearly $300 billion and tens of thousands of lives can be saved each year by helping Americans take their medications as prescribed. An additional $25-$45 billion could be saved each year through care coordination and management of care transitions.

Infographic: CVS Health is Improving Health Care Delivery and Fostering Innovation

Expanding Quality and Access

Our deep bench of clinical expertise includes nearly 36,000 pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who provide direct-to-patient services through a wide array of CVS Health offerings. This allows us to expand access to quality, affordable care for families across the country, and creates strong relationships between patients, payors and providers.

We do this in a number of ways:

Forging Strong Connections

Our unique care model enables us to actively engage in partnerships with other major stakeholders to improve care coordination and reduce costs. For instance, we have established clinical collaborations with 70 major health systems to support joint clinical programs and electronic health record integration. And as part of the “medical neighborhood,” CVS Health is proud to help connect patients to medical homes and support a more coordinated and efficient health care system.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve pharmacy care, visit our Health Care Innovation & Delivery information center. And to stay informed about the most talked-about topics in health care, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

CVS Health is working to improve health care delivery and foster innovation.
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Simplifying the Patient Health Care Experience

Simplifying the Patient Health Care Experience
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For many Americans, health care can be difficult to navigate. At a time when chronic disease continues to grow in prevalence and impact in the U.S., patients are also facing complexities and fragmentation when seeking the right care. In fact, research shows that patients with an ongoing medical condition struggle to get the coordinated care and health services they need to avoid costly hospital visits.https://www.commonwealthfund.org/press-release/2016/new-survey-describes-scope-problem-five-national-health-care-foundations These challenges reinforce the importance of implementing consumer-driven care solutions. 

CVS Health and Aetna share the vision of transforming the consumer health care experience. As a newly-combined company, we’re focused on putting the patient at the center of their health care delivery. The combination of Aetna's data-driven insights and the convenience of CVS Health's community-based retail health care and digital tools helps provide a more personalized health care experience that enables highly-coordinated care and empowers patients to achieve better health outcomes. 

“New ways of identifying and engaging patients to drive beneficial behavior changes will be critical to lowering medical costs for patients and payors, and Aetna’s history of innovation and expertise helps the combined company accomplish this,” says Karen Lynch, Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President for the Aetna business unit. “Patients will benefit from earlier interventions and more connected care, leading to better health outcomes and lower medical costs. And Aetna’s expertise in designing innovative health plans will help our combined company establish lower cost models of care, which will be crucial given the inevitable shift to value-based care.”

Enabling Highly-Coordinated Care 

Patients deserve and want a more coordinated health care system.  In fact, a recent CVS Health poll conducted by Morning Consult found that 84 percent of Americans believe it is important for their doctors to utilize technology to communicate among other care providers, including pharmacists and retail health practitioners — demonstrating the need to make our health care system better connected and easier to use. 

“We have a health care system that has become way too complicated. It is difficult to access services in many cases. At the same time, the costs associated with health care continues to rise at an unsustainable pace,” says Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health. “We believe that with CVS Health and Aetna coming together we can introduce new products and services that will bring solutions to the challenges and frustrations that consumers face every day. That means transforming what has become a very complex system and making it simpler. Making health care local. And helping people achieve their best health at a lower cost.”

Solutions to Make Health Care Easier 

Through our combined assets, we can create a health care model that is more integrated, while offering consumers the ability to interact with trusted and familiar health care experts in their communities. By fully integrating Aetna's medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data, we will enable more effective, holistic treatment of the whole patient based on a more complete picture of their health. As a result, patients will benefit from earlier interventions and better connected care, leading to improved health outcomes and lower medical costs.  

Coordination across care teams, combined with expanded screening offerings and advanced connected devices, can help providers predict and prevent major health events before they occur. Take for example, identifying pre-diabetes symptoms or the warning signs of a heart attack. As a result of our end-to-end capabilities, this can be done by remotely monitoring key health vitals or ensuring patients with chronic diseases take their medications as prescribed, which can improve patient health and avoid costly adverse events.

Helping Patients Achieve Better Health 

Today, one in two Americans has at least one chronic illness. What’s more, nine out of 10 (91 percent) patients say they need more help with chronic disease management. Through our combined assets, we have the opportunity to help change that for patients living with costly and sometimes debilitating diseases.

As a first step, CVS Health will build on its successful Project Health screening events at locations nationwide and combine them with Aetna’s commitment to building healthier communities to offer new preventive health screenings locally. This community-based program aims to improve patients’ health outcomes through expanded preventive health screenings and support in the diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic diseases, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

CVS Health will work with local community partners to provide patients who are diagnosed for the first time with the follow up they need. To support these communities and newly-diagnosed patients, MinuteClinic locations will also be introducing expanded chronic care management services.

Merlo added that the coming together of CVS Health and Aetna presents many opportunities to change the way health care is provided for across our country.

“We'll probably have some really big wins in this, but I think the bigger opportunity is the cumulative value of all those little things that occur millions of times every day as we interact with our clients, their members, our customers, that will make a difference. And that purpose of helping people on their path to better health will remain our North Star.

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Health Care Innovators: A Turning Point in Health IT

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Electronic health records (EHRs) have been widely adopted over the past decadehttps://www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-adoption-rates/  and are enhancing health care delivery through strengthened communication between health care providers. In both inpatient and outpatient settings, EHRs can help create an integrated network with the potential to eliminate siloes and improve outcomes for patients.

POLITICO’s Health Care Innovators: A Turning Point in Health IT?, sponsored by CVS Health, explored the role of technology on health care connectivity and quality.

CVS Health Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer and General Counsel Tom Moriarty opened the event, which was followed by a panel of innovators from the public and private sectors who discussed technological innovations aimed at fostering greater collaboration and continuity in patient care. The panel included:

  • Sam Butler, Chief Medical Officer, Epic Health Systems;
  • Raj Ratwani, M.D., Scientific Director, MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare;
  • Satish Maripuri, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Healthcare; and
  • Genevieve Morris, Principal Deputy National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

Improving Usability of Health Data

Panelists agreed that the overall usability of health data must be improved to ensure that information in an EHR follows patients across care settings.

For example, a patient with diabetes will likely see an endocrinologist, a primary care physician and a pharmacist to manage their condition, all at separate sites of care. In order for that patient – and his or her providers – to effectively manage their condition, complete and accurate records must be accessible across all of these care settings.

Panelists emphasized that this is an area in which they have recently seen progress. Sam Butler of Epic Health Systems referred to this integrated approach as “happy together.” Beyond connecting notes, providers can look at medicine lists, allergies, immunizations and labs to tee up a conversation with patients about what care works best for their needs.

Making it Easier to Manage Care through Enhanced Connectivity

As technology progresses, EHRs and health data will continue to play a key role in driving more personalized care. In fact, 85 percent of patients believe that EHR technology has the ability to significantly improve their quality of care.https://ehrintelligence.com/news/most-patients-report-ehr-technology-improves-quality-of-care
CVS Health uses technology to support care delivery and efficiency. Our strategies to promote coordination across health care teams include:

  • partnership with Epic, enabling connectivity with 90 percent of health records in the United States and supporting the development of a comprehensive clinical database to enhance medication counseling.
  • A new tool CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder, which allows pharmacists to identify lower-cost options at the pharmacy counter and helps patients get the right medication at the right cost.
  • Real-time benefits that provide prescribers with visibility into specific benefit information and costs for their patients

We look forward to continuing our work to support interoperable EHRs and greater connectivity across the health care system. 

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access 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.

Panel participants at POLITICO’s Health Care Innovators series
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Transforming Health Care for Americans

Transforming Health Care for Americans
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At Town Hall Los Angeles, a public forum that has addressed key community issues for more than two decades, Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health, highlighted his vision for bringing transformative change to health care access and delivery. Merlo discussed how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna will help reduce the complexity and cost burdens that consumers face today when managing their health care. According to Merlo, the combined company has the potential to make health care easier to use and less expensive for the consumer by strengthening access to care locally, empowering a more connected health care system and helping to prevent and manage costly conditions. 

Expanding Health Care Access Locally 

One in three Americans view access to quality care as the most important health priority in their community. Furthermore, research shows that when people have regular access to primary care, it makes a positive, long-term difference in their health.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2690145/  Merlo emphasized that the combined company will be able to offer many options to access care – whether in the community at retail pharmacies and clinics, in the home or through digital tools.

Of note, 70 percent of Americans live within three miles of a CVS Pharmacy. Our geographic footprint empowers our 36,000 pharmacists, physicians’ assistants and nurse practitioners who serve on the front lines of care every day – guiding patients on their medication needs and helping them manage care in between doctor visits.  

Merlo reinforced how CVS Health will continue to help fill care gaps between visits to the doctor, serving as a complement to traditional primary care. For example, about half of the people who walk into a MinuteClinic don’t have a primary care physician. Because of the company’s commitment to connecting patients to the right care at the right time, CVS Health has formed alliances with more than 70 major health systems across the country. 

A More Connected, Efficient Health Care System 

Patients often must carry medical records with them to the different sites where they receive care, making it difficult to get the full range of coordinated care they need. For people living with an ongoing disease, this is an area that requires improvement. Consider, for example, that a patient with diabetes will likely see an endocrinologist, a primary care physician and a pharmacist to manage their condition – all at separate sites of care. 

“Better connectivity is needed across the care continuum – at the provider’s office and in the home – to ensure earlier interventions and reduce the likelihood of hospital readmissions,” said Merlo. “By fully integrating Aetna’s medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data and community locations, we will enable more effective and preventative treatment of the whole patient.” 

Improving Health Outcomes and Lowering Costs

Last year, the United States spent $10,000 per person on health care. Yet, Americans at all socioeconomic levels are less healthy than people in other high-income countries.http://www.oecd.org/health/health-systems/Health-Spending-Latest-Trends-Brief.pdf According to Merlo, a key goal of the CVS Health and Aetna combination is to improve population health and, in turn, lower costs through improved management of chronic disease.

More than half of all American adults live with one or more chronic diseases today, which accounts for 86 percent of health care spending.https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/PreventiveHealth.html

“Through our expanded offerings, we’ll have a strengthened community presence with stores, pharmacists and retail clinic practitioners to provide consumers with preventative counseling and guidance,” said Merlo. “We’ll be there more frequently when consumers living with chronic diseases pick up their medicines – to talk with them face-to-face not just about managing their medications, but also how to better manage their health and well-being.”  

Merlo emphasized that CVS Health will also be expanding the use of digital tools to help manage conditions. These tools will help patients seamlessly monitor key indicators, such as blood glucose levels, and then follow-up via text message when results look concerning or require attention. 

For a copy of Merlo’s remarks at Town Hall Los Angeles, click here.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is for informational purposes only and not intended to and does not constitute an offer to subscribe for, buy or sell, the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for, buy or sell or an invitation to subscribe for, buy or sell any securities or the solicitation of any vote or approval in any jurisdiction pursuant to or in connection with the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed transaction between CVS Health Corporation ("CVS Health") and Aetna Inc. ("Aetna"), CVS Health filed a registration statement on Form S-4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which includes a joint proxy statement of CVS Health and Aetna that also constitutes a prospectus of CVS Health. The registration statement was declared effective by the SEC on February 9, 2018, and CVS Health and Aetna commenced mailing the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus to stockholders of CVS Health and shareholders of Aetna on or about February 12, 2018, and the special meeting of the stockholders of CVS Health and the shareholders of Aetna was held on March 13, 2018. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF CVS HEALTH AND AETNA ARE URGED TO READ THE DEFINITIVE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Investors and security holders may obtain free copies of the registration statement and the definitive joint proxy statement/prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by CVS Health or Aetna through the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by CVS Health are available free of charge within the Investors section of CVS Health's Web site at http://www.cvshealth.com/investors or by contacting CVS Health's Investor Relations Department at 800-201-0938. Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Aetna are available free of charge on Aetna's internet website at http://www.Aetna.com or by contacting Aetna's Investor Relations Department at 860-273-0896.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act") provides a safe harbor for forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of CVS Health or Aetna. This communication may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. You can generally identify forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipate," "believe," "can," "continue," "could," "estimate," "evaluate," "expect," "explore," "forecast," "guidance," "intend," "likely," "may," "might," "outlook," "plan," "potential," "predict," "probable," "project," "seek," "should," "view," or "will," or the negative thereof or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond CVS Health's and Aetna's control.

Statements in this communication that are forward-looking, including projections as to the closing date for the pending acquisition of Aetna (the "transaction"), the extent of, and the time necessary to obtain, the regulatory approvals required for the transaction, the anticipated benefits of the transaction, the impact of the transaction on CVS Health's and Aetna's businesses, the expected terms and scope of the expected financing for the transaction, the ownership percentages of CVS Health's common stock of CVS Health stockholders and Aetna shareholders at closing, the aggregate amount of indebtedness of CVS Health following the closing of the transaction, CVS Health's expectations regarding debt repayment and its debt to capital ratio following the closing of the transaction, CVS Health's and Aetna's respective share repurchase programs and ability and intent to declare future dividend payments, the number of prescriptions used by people served by the combined companies' pharmacy benefit business, the synergies from the transaction, and CVS Health's, Aetna's and/or the combined company's future operating results, are based on CVS Health's and Aetna's managements' estimates, assumptions and projections, and are subject to significant uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond their control. In particular, projected financial information for the combined businesses of CVS Health and Aetna is based on estimates, assumptions and projections and has not been prepared in conformance with the applicable accounting requirements of Regulation S-X relating to pro forma financial information, and the required pro forma adjustments have not been applied and are not reflected therein. None of this information should be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, the historical financial statements of CVS Health and Aetna. Important risk factors related to the transaction could cause actual future results and other future events to differ materially from those currently estimated by management, including, but not limited to: the timing to consummate the proposed transaction; the risk that a regulatory approval that may be required for the proposed transaction is delayed, is not obtained or is obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; the risk that a condition to the closing of the proposed transaction may not be satisfied; the outcome of litigation related to the transaction; the ability to achieve the synergies and value creation contemplated; CVS Health's ability to promptly and effectively integrate Aetna's businesses; and the diversion of and attention of management of both CVS Health and Aetna on transaction-related issues.

In addition, this communication may contain forward-looking statements regarding CVS Health's or Aetna's respective businesses, financial condition and results of operations. These forward-looking statements also involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, some of which may not be presently known to CVS Health or Aetna or that they currently believe to be immaterial also may cause CVS Health's or Aetna's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements, adversely impact their respective businesses, CVS Health's ability to complete the transaction and/or CVS Health's ability to realize the expected benefits from the transaction. Should any risks and uncertainties develop into actual events, these developments could have a material adverse effect on the transaction and/or CVS Health or Aetna, CVS Health's ability to successfully complete the transaction and/or realize the expected benefits from the transaction. Additional information concerning these risks, uncertainties and assumptions can be found in CVS Health's and Aetna's respective filings with the SEC, including the risk factors discussed in "Item 1.A. Risk Factors" in CVS Health's and Aetna's most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K, as updated by their Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and future filings with the SEC.

You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are and will be based upon management's then-current views and assumptions regarding future events and operating performance, and are applicable only as of the dates of such statements. Neither CVS Health nor Aetna assumes any duty to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, as of any future date.

Larry Merlo, President and CEO of CVS Health, speaks at Town Hall Los Angeles
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