CVS Health introduces special access to Apple Fitness+

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) announced today it is offering special access for its clients, customers and employees to Apple Fitness+, the first fitness experience built for Apple Watch, arriving later this year. CVS Health is developing a one-year subscription offer for Aetna commercial and CVS Caremark members and will share details soon. Additionally, a free two-month subscription for Fitness+ will be offered to CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare members and all current CVS Health employees when the service is launched.

Fitness+ intelligently incorporates metrics from Apple Watch for users to visualize right on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, offering a first-of-its-kind personalized workout experience. With Fitness+, everyone from beginners to fitness enthusiasts can access studio-style workouts delivered by inspiring world-class trainers underscored by motivating music from renowned artists, making it easier and more rewarding for users to exercise, whenever and wherever they like.

"Keeping people engaged and motivated on their path to better health is at the core of our business, which is why we are extending our collaboration with Apple to offer special access to Fitness+ through all the ways we connect with customers," said Jonathan Mayhew, Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for CVS Health. "Innovative fitness offerings like Fitness+ are even more critical as people strive to maintain their health during these challenging times."

Today's announcement is a continuation of the relationship between Aetna, a CVS Health company, and Apple that originated in 2016 when 90 percent of participants in their employee wellness subsidy program reported a health benefit from their use of Apple Watch. In 2019, Aetna launched Attain, a unique health experience designed by Aetna in collaboration with Apple. Attain is a comprehensive integrated wellness program via direct-to-member app that blends activity-driven incentives and rewards with personalized health recommendations.

Following the launch of Fitness+ later this year, eligible CVS customers and employees will be provided details on how to subscribe to Fitness+ and take advantage of the trial offer.$9.99 per month or $79.99 per year after free trial. No commitment. Plan automatically renews until cancelled. Eligible Aetna commercial and CVS Caremark members will receive additional information when it is available. Fitness+ requires Apple Watch Series 3 or later paired with iPhone 6s or later or iPhone SE. One offer per Apple ID. Participants will be able to share their Fitness+ subscription with up to five other people in their family with Family Sharing. For more information on Fitness+, please visit Apple.com.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We're evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that's in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contacts

Ethan Slavin
SlavinE@aetna.com
860-273-6095

Carissa Falzarano
FalzaranoC@aetna.com
617-733-6189

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Aetna ships Caring for You kits to millions of Medicare members

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HARTFORD, Conn. — Aetna , a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), announced it will ship boxes of specially curated, over-the-counter items to all its Medicare Advantage members across the country.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and flu season begins, these Caring for You kits contain several items to help support Medicare members with simple self-care at home. Kits include a thermometer, hand sanitizer and two Aetna-branded face masks, among other items.

"During this challenging time when many of our most vulnerable members are home, we wanted to provide them with some convenient items to help them stay healthy," said Christopher Ciano, president of Aetna Medicare. "We know that something as basic as an oral thermometer can make a big difference during telehealth visits. Sending these types of important items to our members at no cost was simply the right thing to do."

The Caring for You kits are a one-time liberalization of an Aetna Medicare Advantage member over-the-counter benefit. Kits will be sent to members who were enrolled on or before August 1, 2020. The kits began shipping last week and will continue throughout the fall.

This action builds on overall efforts by Aetna to help its Medicare members during this public health emergency. For example, Aetna is waiving Medicare Advantage member cost shares for in-network primary care office visits and all telehealth visits for any reason through December 31, 2020.

More information on steps Aetna has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at AetnaMedicare.com/coronavirus.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Plan features and availability may vary by service area.

Media contact

Ethan Slavin
860-273-6095
SlavinE@aetna.com

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Frank talk about suicide

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"Just asking if someone is OK could be life-saving."

When she was younger, Aimee Prange struggled with thoughts of suicide. Following multiple attempts to take her life, she is in a healthier place, having learned positive coping skills and — perhaps most critically — how to ask for help: “Recovery is absolutely possible,” she says.

Anyone can have suicidal thoughts, says Aimee, now a licensed social worker and manager with Aetna Behavioral Health. “People often have an image of what a suicidal person looks like or what that means for their life forever after. I’d like to be a part of changing that conversation. We have to talk about it.”

That’s why CVS Health is supporting National Suicide Prevention Month by expanding access to mental health and suicide prevention resources.

“The focus of the health care system should be on early identification and support,” says Cara McNulty, President of Aetna’s Behavioral Health unit and EAP. “We can address vulnerable populations, and we can reduce suicide attempts. Our message is: It’s preventable, and you're not alone. There is access to care, and you do not have to be in this much pain.”

Suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. And, according to Cara, adolescents are especially vulnerable to pandemic-related grief. “We need to help these young adults access that grief, and that's going to take time. Without that grieving process, we will continue to see adolescent suicide rise.”

Young people of color face multiple vulnerabilities, Cara adds. “There are specific populations of Black and brown communities where we need to focus our efforts, so we are providing support.”

During the pandemic, CVS Health’s virtual mental health visits have exponentially increased. The company’s multifaceted approach to suicide prevention includes the Talk Saves Lives training program and a safety intervention for suicide attempt survivors. 

“If someone is dealing with anxiety or depression or suicide ideation, it's hard. To then say, ‘I need help,’ is really, really hard,” says Cara. “It’s so important that we have the courage to have conversations that help people feel included and accepted and seek the help and care they need.”

Aimee agrees. “Don’t assume somebody else will reach out. You’ve got to be the one to show there are people that care. That one little thing — just asking someone if they're OK — could be lifesaving. Don't wait.”

If you are thinking about suicide or know someone who is, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255).

Warning signs of suicide risk:

  • Withdrawing from activities

  • Sleeping a lot or sleeping very little

  • Aggression

  • Giving away possessions

  • Talking about hopelessness or being a burden to others

  • Increase in alcohol/drug use

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Suicide rates are on the rise, how we’re working to reverse the trends

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While suicide rates have been increasing over the last 20 years, the COVID-19 pandemic is further threatening the mental well-being of all Americans. A CDC survey, conducted in June 2020, found that 11 percent of U.S. adults having seriously considered suicide 30 days prior to completing the survey. 

“To drive suicide prevention, everyone must play a role,” said Cara McNulty, President, Behavioral Health & EAP at CVS Health. “As employers, health care providers and community members – we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times most vulnerable for those at-risk of suicide.”

CVS Health is committed to helping reverse the devastating suicide trends. We know it is our responsibility as a leading health company to use our voice to raise awareness of these rising rates and to expand our existing services to offer resources and support for Aetna members and the broader community.

Our commitment

Aetna Resources for Living

CVS Health has made Aetna’s Resources for Living (RFL) program available to everyone, whether or not they are covered in an Aetna insurance plan. RFL offers real-time phone support, informational content, community referrals and support for basic needs. Individuals who do not have RFL as an insurance plan benefit should call 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) (TTY:711) for assistance.

Improving clinical processes

We are continually evaluating Aetna’s clinical processes and addressing gaps that previously would have prevented care management teams from reaching members who may be suicidal.

  • Implementation of a new patient safety screener (PSS-3) tool for all members who speak to an Aetna Behavioral Health clinician by asking a series of questions about their mental well-being to help identify at-risk individuals and connect them with support and resources.

     

  • Continued offering of our safety planning template to help prevent future suicide attempts in members who have been recently discharged from the hospital.

  • Ongoing “touch base” contact postcards sent to members who were recently discharged from an inpatient stay following a suicide attempt with messaging to let them know that they are valued, their life is worth living, and that resources are available to them. Aetna is the only health insurer to send this type of communication to members.

  • Continued partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to offer their Talk Saves Lives online training program to help recognize the warning signs of suicide.

"Knowing the warning signs and how to intervene during the most vulnerable times is crucial to making a meaningful difference in suicide prevention,” said Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer, AFSP. “By partnering with CVS Health, we are bringing critical resources and awareness to suicide prevention."

Learn about how you can support someone who is considering suicide in this guide from AFSP.

If you are thinking about suicide, know someone who is or need to talk with someone, we encourage you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 741741 to connect with a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

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Aetna Medicaid backed study finds school pantry programs help with food insecurity

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Aetna Better Health of Florida’s School Pantry Program collaboration with Feeding South Florida played a key role in addressing the growing trend of food insecurity in the communities it serves

As National Hunger Action Month kicks off this month, it’s important to note that one in four children struggle with hunger every day.https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/child-hunger-facts And kids struggling to get enough to eat are more likely to have problems in school and are often affected by other social determinants of health including lack of access to quality health care, economic instability and living in neighborhoods with fewer resources that promote health such as grocery stores, parks and recreational facilities.https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/hunger-and-nutrition,https://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/hunger-health-impact-poverty-food-insecurity-health-well-being.pdf, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/schoolfoodpantries.asp Identifying and addressing the social determinants affecting children are key components in improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities.

For many children and their families, schools serve communities as trusted resources. Teachers, administrators and school staff are often aware of a family’s struggles with social determinants of health, including food insecurity. A school pantry can provide low-income students and their families access to nutritious food.Food Pantries in Schools, California Department of Education, https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/he/schoolfoodpantries.asp,School Pantry Program, Feeding America, https://www.feedingamerica.org/our-work/hunger-relief-programs/school-pantry This is especially true in South Florida where families that were already struggling were also faced with additional hardships as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.This Southern metro area has become the epicenter of the coronavirus — and food insecurity, NBC News online, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/southern-metro-area-has-become-epicenter-coronavirus-food-insecurity-n1233903

A partnership is born

In 2018, Aetna Better Health of Florida® (ABHFL) donated $125,000 to Feeding South Florida (FSF). FSF is the sole Feeding America food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. The one-year funding donation was part of the health plan’s strategy to address the growing trend of food insecurity in the communities they serve. A portion of the donation established a farmer’s market-style School Pantry Program (SPP) for 130 families with students at Melrose Elementary School in the Brownsville section of Miami. The twice-monthly SPP provides nutritious items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as a true pantry with shelf-stable foods that are available on an as-needed basis for families with urgent requests.

It is widely known that without proper nutrition, children cannot concentrate or perform well in school. Children who have poor nutrition often experience stunted development, this can cause chronic health issues and impact the capacity for academic achievement and future success. Evidence shows the health of students is strongly associated to their academic achievement.Santos R, Huerta G, Karki M, Cantarero A. Social Determinants of Overweight and Obesity Rates by Elementary School in a Predominantly Hispanic School District. J Pediatr Nurs. 2017;37:8-12. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2017.08.02,Jyoti DF, Frongillo EA, Jones SJ. Food insecurity affects school children’s academic performance, weight gain, and social skills. Journal of Nutrition 2005;135(12):2831–2839.,Johnson AD, Markowitz AJ. Associations Between Household Food Insecurity in Early Childhood and Children’s Kindergarten Skills. Child Dev. 2018;89(2):e1-e17. doi:10.1111/cdev.12764,https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/health_and_academics/pdf/health-academic-achievement.pdf Published May 2014

As such, partnering with an organization like FSF, and supporting food distribution programs in high-need communities, gives Aetna the ability to better understand the social determinants of health issues facing members in specific at-risk communities. Having this information, helps case managers provide members with the most appropriate local social services, allowing families to focus more on education instead of worrying about where they will get their next meal.

That’s why it was important from the get-go for the health plan to engage the Florida Institute for Health Innovation (FIHI). Running alongside the program, FIHI used pre- and post-survey data and focus groups to conduct an independent, qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the Melrose SPP on students’ health, behavior in school, and performance in the classroom through the collection of survey and focus group data.

Access to nutritious food: A catalyst for student success?

The post-survey data suggests that almost 20% of household groceries for respondents came from the SPP, demonstrating a significant contribution to household food security. Respondents were also asked if the SPP allowed them to “meet their food needs for the month.” Fifty-one percent (51%) answered ‘Yes’ and 74% shared that the program increased their ability to eat nutritiously. Of the parents that participated in the pre- and post-survey, there was a 12% increase in parent’s self-reporting their child’s overall health as “excellent.” This emphasized the qualitative evidence from the focus group, in which one parent shared that her children were no longer pre-diabetic after participating in the SPP.

Overall, participants in both the surveys and focus groups underscored the impact of the SPP on behavioral outcomes, reducing familial stressors associated with hunger, and improving their child’s health. When asked about the SPP in relation to students’ performance in school, participants noted that having access to food was a catalyst towards ensuring their children could focus on school without worrying about eating.

“I have five children at home, and it has been hard sometimes to tell them that there wasn’t any milk,” said one parent. 
Another parent shared how their children’s behavior changes when they become concerned about access to food, stating, “They get nervous when they see the refrigerator getting empty.”

Next steps

Since the conclusion of Aetna’s one-year SPP funding contract and the FIHI study, ABHFL has maintained its collaboration with FSF through a $120,000 grant for FSF’s new Mini-Mobile Farmacy (MMF). The MMF is a mobile grocery store that goes directly to at-risk populations and provides nutritious food, interactive public health programming, and a food “farmacy” that personalizes the link between food and wellbeing for food insecure individuals with chronic health concerns.

“Aetna has brought a tremendous amount of recognition and respect to the SPP,“ said Sari M. Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida. “As a result of our collaboration, FSF’s Feeding Futures School Pantry Program was able to extend the Melrose SPP through an official partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and received an additional year of funding with the help of County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.”

About National Hunger Action Month

September is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, a month where people all over America stand together to support food banks and to spread the word to act on the hunger crisis and dedicate ourselves to a solution.

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From angry to action

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Kursten Cooper

She responded to a tragedy by educating and inspiring

“This winter will mark 12 years since my brother completed his suicide. Kurt was the youngest of the three kids in my family and the only boy. He had struggled with addiction, but always seemed full of life. His death at 27 came as a complete surprise to us.

For a long while, I was angry. With him, with myself, with everything. Then I found the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). It was good to be around people who had experienced what I had, but I was angry even with them because they all seemed to be in a better place than I was. One day, a woman called from AFSP and asked me to join the planning committee for the next fund-raising walk. I joined – and it was one of the best decisions ever! I was doing something. I even found myself going to Washington, D.C., and speaking with legislators in support of suicide prevention efforts focused on the Native American community, which has a high suicide rate.

I also helped manage a very successful golf tournament with a couple who had lost both their sons – one to war and the other to suicide. They found the reactions to the two losses were very different and set out to educate people about how all deaths deserve equal attention and sympathy. The Kurt Shriner Memorial Golf Tournament raised $35,000 in its first year and ended in 2018 by raising $65,000.

I keep working on suicide prevention because it really bothers me that, as a nation, we still treat physical illness differently from mental illness. Mental illness isn’t something you choose. It happens – like a broken leg or an infection. And you can’t snap your fingers and simply make it go away. Let’s stop being ashamed!

I’ve never gotten all the answers about my brother’s suicide. But I no longer hold the anger – just the sadness that he isn’t here. And I feel empowered, concentrating on helping people choose life. It’s what I do for Kurt.”

Kursten Cooper has been with Aetna for 13 years and focuses on providing digital support to multiple business stakeholders. She lives and works in North Dakota.

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends. To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members, we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times those at risk of suicide are most vulnerable. 

CVS Health is prioritizing suicide prevention as a strategic imperative , intervening with members and non-members during vulnerable times to offer a range of specially tailored, evidence- based resources and support. CVS Health will also continue to partner with suicide prevention non-profits and industry experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to deliver suicide prevention training and expanded resources to Aetna members and the public.  We commemorate Suicide Prevention Month knowing that that prevention and hope is possible for millions. 

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone in your life being at risk, we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741.

Kursten Cooper
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Little sister

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When a family member steps up to face reality

“My sister is five years older than I and has long suffered with a mental health issue. At nine years old, she had her first episode of suicidal ideation – she would lock herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives. My family’s unhappiness and denial of her mental illness caused them to turn away from my sister. They ignored all the signs of self-harm and suicidal ideation. As the younger daughter, I tried to convince my family to take it seriously.

My sister became a mom at age 17. When her son (my nephew) was three years old, she had another episode—threatening to kill herself while the child was in her home with her. My sister was married by then and living 15 miles from me. I tried to get other family members to call for help. They were too ashamed. I finally drove to a pay phone (this was before cell phones, texting, etc.) and called 911. The state police responded, taking the knives away. My sister was admitted voluntarily to a psychiatric hospital for two weeks. My family did not call or visit her because she had “caused a scene.” For me, the trauma of that day was profound.

Even with treatment, over the next six to seven years my sister would struggle. Sometimes she would send me photos of pills and razor blades with notes that said simply, “good-bye.” By then I lived two hours away, and I spent hours trying to get her urgent help when providers would not talk to someone who did not have power of attorney and was not named on a HIPAA release form. My family still would not acknowledge my sister’s mental illness for fear of the stigma it would place on all of us.

As for my own life, I went into health care and built a career at Aetna. I’m based in Arizona. Knowing what my sister fought against, and the need for education and compassion toward those who contemplate, attempt and/or complete suicide, I decided to focus on mental health. At Aetna, we are working to ensure family and peer support for those struggling with suicide. We also communicate with providers to make sure they are educating patients on the importance of having a family member, friend or advocate listed on their HIPAA release form so health care professionals can communicate with them about the patient’s health care choices and best interests.

By now, you may be wondering how my sister’s story turned out. I’m so happy to tell you that she is today a proud grandma to four grandchildren, and has a healthy relationship with her son, who is now 31 years old. My sister faithfully takes her medications and is in therapy. She has not had an episode of suicidal ideation in several years.”

Erneshia Pinder is Program Director for CVS Health’s Strategic Diversity Management team, overseeing the execution of the enterprise’s nearly $600 million investment over five years to advance employee, community and public policy initiatives that address inequality faced by Black people and other disenfranchised communities. You can read more and follow her on LinkedIn.

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends. To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members, we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times those at risk of suicide are most vulnerable. 

CVS Health is prioritizing suicide prevention as a strategic imperative, intervening with members and non-members during vulnerable times to offer a range of specially tailored, evidence- based resources and support. CVS Health will also continue to partner with suicide prevention non-profits and industry experts such as the American Foundation for Suicide and Prevention (AFSP) to deliver suicide prevention training and expanded resources to Aetna members and the public.  We commemorate Suicide Prevention Month knowing that that prevention and hope is possible for millions. 

If you are thinking about suicide or are concerned about someone in your life being at risk, we encourage you to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741.

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We are committed to reducing the number of suicides

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If you are thinking about suicide, know someone who is, or need to talk with someone, we encourage you to immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Suicide trends in the United States are staggering. The rate of suicide is now at its highest level since 1941Suicidology.org, and suicide is the second leading cause of death of those between the ages of 10 to 24.Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Coupled with the isolating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the longstanding effects of systemic racism, the U.S. is facing a mental health crisis that must be addressed. CVS Health is taking multiple actions to do just that.

cvs heart

Facts about suicide:

1 in 4

The number of 18 to 24 year-olds having seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days, according to a June 2020 Centers for Disease Control (CDC) survey found that suicidal ideation is up among young people since last year.

Facts about suicide:

11% of adults

have seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days, an additional find by the the CDC survey which identifies that the mental health of the whole U.S population is deteriorating.

Facts about suicide:

24% increase

in the national suicide rate between 1999 and 2018 according to the CDC.

Facts about suicide:

132

the number of suicides per day, according to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). For every suicide, there are an estimated 30 attempts (CDC).


Many factors in addition to mental health can contribute to suicidal behaviors such as relationship problems, physical health challenges, work related issues, along with access to lethal means. With the right intervention and support, resources and management of suicidal thoughts, suicide is known to be preventable. In fact, 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a potentially treatable mental health condition.

The time to act is now. 

As one of the country’s leading health companies, CVS Health is committed to helping people on their path to better health. Part of that mission is and must be the reversal of our devastating suicide trends.

As part of our commitment to flatten the ‘second curve’ of the escalating mental health crisis and increase access to affordable, quality care with a focus on social determinants of health, we are offering resources to support a variety of groups — young adults and college students, attempt survivors, Aetna members and CVS Health colleagues. These resources are outlined below. 


Ways to get help

To combat the rising rates of suicide and our alarming mental health crisis, CVS Health is offering a range of specially tailored resources and support for members and non-members in the month of September and beyond.

To drive meaningful suicide prevention, everyone must play a role. As employers, health care providers and community members — we have a collective responsibility to do more to intervene at times most vulnerable for those at-risk of suicide.


For everyone

Aetna’s signature Resources for Living® (RFL) program provides real-time confidential phone support, counseling sessions and learning tools to anyone in need, whether or not they’re covered in Aetna insurance plans. Individuals who do not have RFL as an insurance plan benefit should call 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) (TTY:711) for assistance. RFL resources include:

  • Emotional support

  • Resources for supporting basic needs including family meals, access to childcare and financial guidance

  • Community referrals

  • Access to informational resources

  • Management consultation for organizations

We’ve also enhanced our nationwide mental health programming effort with new charitable investments focused on health care workers, essential workers and seniors to flatten the “second curve” of the pandemic – the mental health crisis. For more information on CVS Health’s COVID-19 relief efforts related to mental and emotional well-being, visit cvshealth.com/secondcurve.


For our Aetna members

We are continually evaluating our clinical processes and addressing gaps that previously would have prevented care management teams from reaching members who may be suicidal. In collaboration with AFSP, we are facilitating access to suicide prevention screenings, as well as offering expanded resources and communications for at-risk members. These include:

  • patient safety screener (PSS-3) tool which includes a series of three questions about mental well-being is used for all members who speak to an Aetna Behavioral Health clinician, regardless of their risk-rating.

  • To prevent future suicide attempts, a safety planning template helps Aetna providers drive conversations with patients recently discharged from the hospital following an attempt. The guided outreach will help patients understand warning signs, identify coping strategies and connect with key people to call for support.

  • “Caring contact” postcards include messaging that expresses the recipient’s value and that their life is worth living. Postcards are sent to members, aged 18 and over, who are recently discharged from an inpatient stay following a suicide attempt. This method has shown a 50-65 percent reduction in suicide attempts. Aetna is the only health insurer to send suicide prevention targeted “touch base” contact postcards to members.

  • Aetna Resources For Living℠ (ARFL) provides confidential mental well-being support, counseling sessions, and learning tools. You can call us at 1-833-327-AETNA (1-833-327-2386) (TTY:711).

For CVS Health colleagues

Resources are also available to help CVS Health colleagues. The My EAP by ARFL program is available 24/7. Online tools include myStrength, which provides digital resources designed to help users navigate life circumstances including, depression, drug or alcohol recovery, chronic pain and sleep management.

  • 7 Cups, on-demand emotional health support services that makes mental health care accessible through community, trained volunteer listeners.

Lift the Mask – Portraits of Life with Mental Illness is a documentary developed by the Quell Foundation, chronicling individual mental health journeys with a goal of destigmatizing conversations about mental health. Watch the trailer to preview this powerful documentary.

In recognition of suicide prevention, Aetna, a CVS Health company, lit purple the cupola at its office headquarters in Hartford, CT on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

In recognition of suicide prevention, Aetna, a CVS Health company, lit purple the cupola at its office headquarters in Hartford, CT on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day.

Reaching out to those at risk 

Are you worried someone in your life may be struggling with their mental health or considering suicide? There are common warning signs to watch for in loved ones, friends and colleagues. They can stem from biological, psychological, social or environmental events. 

Know the suicide risk signs:

  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs

  • Searching online for suicide information or for ways to end life

  • Talking about harming oneself, burdening others, feeling trapped, hopelessness or in unbearable pain 

  • Giving away prized possessions

  • Delusions and hallucinations of reality 

  • Extreme mood changes such as excessive sadness, worry, aggression, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, shame, or sudden improvement

  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits 

  • Withdrawal from social activities with friends and family or increased isolation

  • Problems concentrating or completing daily activities

  • An intense concern with appearance or fear of weight gain

  • Pattern of physical ailments without cause such as body aches and headaches

Early intervention is key, and recognizing the warning signs are helpful in suicide prevention. Plus, research shows that talking about suicide or suicidal thoughts does not increase the risk of someone committing suicide. So, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask the person what’s going on.

Learn more about how you can support someone who is considering suicide. And if you’re ready to have the talk, here’s a guide from AFSP on the best way to go about it.

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Aetna and Landmark Health working together to bring in-home health services to Medicare Advantage members in New York

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Aetna logo and Landmark Health logo

Collaboration addresses the ongoing health needs of Aetna Medicare Advantage members with chronic conditions

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Aetna®, a CVS Health® company (NYSE: CVS), and Landmark Health and its affiliated medical groups (Landmark) announced today a new relationship to bring physician-led  services into the homes of Aetna Medicare Advantage members living in New York with chronic health conditions. Service areas will be focused in the New York City boroughs and Long Island and further extend to Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo.

Members who are eligible for the program will receive access to health services in their homes. Examples of the types of care they can get are acute and urgent services such as wound care, lab draws, catheter maintenance and adherence to medication therapies, as well as medication management, home safety checks, and health screenings. The personalized services also include member access to 24/7 availability from a dedicated Landmark health care provider. Ongoing nutrition, medication therapy, emotional and mental health support will help ensure members receive a comprehensive continuum of care. As part of that care, in-home providers will also share data with members’ primary care physicians.

"This new approach identifies members with multiple chronic conditions and provides stronger in-home physician support in addition to their current primary care physician relationship,” said Lauren Casalveri, Aetna vice president and chief Medicare officer in New York. “This collaboration allows members to remain safely in their homes and provides optimal treatment for their conditions.”

"Landmark saw our first patient seven years ago in upstate New York,” said Michael Le, MD, Landmark co-founder and chief medical officer. “It’s tremendous to see that, with the Aetna relationship, nearly 40,000 New Yorkers who need advanced in-home geriatric care have access to it."

The alliance reflects one of the key goals of value-based care, which is to drive better health outcomes at lower costs. Landmark has seen widespread demand for its home-based primary care services across the Medicare population. Since inception in 2014, Landmark Health has grown to 48 cities in 15 states. And it’s accountable for over 114,000 patients with chronic conditions.

"Access to care, especially for the aging population, is a critical need which has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Casalveri. "These expanded services connect chronically ill members with enhanced solutions specific to their health needs."

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Aetna Medicare is a HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. Participating physicians, hospitals and other health care providers are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Aetna. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed, and provider network composition is subject to change. The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Other physicians/providers are available in our network.

About Landmark Health

Landmark Health and its affiliated medical groups (Landmark) deliver comprehensive in-home medical care to older adults, 24/7 – 365 days a year. Specialized in complex chronic care, Landmark’s physician-led multidisciplinary teams work with patients’ existing healthcare networks to bring medical, behavioral and palliative care, along with social services, to individuals where they reside. Most critically, Landmark is bending the cost curve in health care by reducing avoidable ER visits and hospital admissions, while extending lives of patients. www.landmarkhealth.org

Media Contacts:

Shannon Dillon
Aetna
346-291-7131
dillons@aetna.com

Jessica Diaz
Landmark Health
612-382-4395
jdiaz@landmarkhealth.org

Aetna logo and Landmark Health logo
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Connecting the dots in health care: Combining CVS Health services with Aetna’s cost-saving performance network

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The “Aetna Connected Plan with CVS Health” is helping deliver simple, convenient and more affordable health care.

KANSAS CITY, MO — The Aetna Connected Plan with CVS Health, a first-of-its-kind plan offering in the Kansas City health care insurance market, is demonstrating how the company’s combined capabilities can help members access care when and where they need it — and at a more affordable price than a traditional plan.

The plan combines CVS Health services — including free 1 to 2-day prescription delivery and 20 percent discounts on thousands of health-related items — with Aetna’s cost-saving I-35 Performance Network to deliver a more convenient and connected member experience, along with up to 20 percent premium savings compared to comparable PPO products in the market. 

Targeted to employers with 101-plus employees, quoting begins in September for a plan start date in January 2021. 

“HealthHUBs provide our members with a caring, convenient and connected one-stop solution-all at no cost to the member,” said local Aetna Market President Jim Boyman. 

For example, a member or their Aetna Care Manager can book an appointment at a HealthHUB to ask questions about chronic conditions such as diabetes. A HealthHUB concierge can also connect the member to a MinuteClinic provider, who can consult with the member’s primary care physician and prescribe medication that can be picked up in the store. 

Information from the visit can then be sent to the member’s network provider and Aetna Care Manager.

“It’s all about meeting our members where they are to increase engagement, improve outcomes and reduce health care costs,” said Boyman.

Included CVS Health services include:

  • $0 copay at local HealthHub and MinuteClinic locationsNot applicable with HSA plans.

  • Free 1 to 2-day prescription delivery

  • 20% discounts on thousands of health-related items in-store and online

  • 24/7 pharmacist helpline

  • Access to the CVS managed pharmacy network, specialty pharmacy network and Coram home infusion services

The Aetna I-35 Performance Network includes: 

  • 1,247 primary care doctors

  • 8,300 specialists

  • 13 hospitals

  • 32 Urgent Care facilities

The plan will be available within Clay, Jackson and Platte Counties in Missouri; and Johnson and Wynadotte Counties in Kansas. 

“This plan is just one example of how Aetna and CVS Health are combining forces to help people live healthier lives,” said Boyman. “We’re providing a better member experience by reducing costs and simplifying their health care journey.”

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 38 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Media contacts

Jim Scavino
Aetna
727-415-9768
scavinoj@aetna.com 

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