Amidst a pandemic, consumers say they want accessible, affordable and technology-enabled health care, new CVS Health study finds

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Path to Better Health Study also reveals desire for digital health care solutions to support chronic care, mental health needs.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — The American health care system is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed new challenges and opportunities to accelerate advances in health care delivery, solve for systemic health inequities, dramatically improve care outcomes, and better meet consumer expectations for convenience and affordability.

With a global pandemic as the backdrop, CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) fielded the 2020 Path to Better Health Study, where consumers and providers were asked for their thoughts on the state of health care and how they are navigating this evolving landscape. While certain attitudes may have evolved as a result of COVID-19, the study reveals that consumers need more accessible, personalized and technology-driven health care than ever before and are seeking simplicity in the way they engage in their own health.

The use of technology and data analytics in health care is reaching new heights, and the pandemic is accelerating the adoption of digitally based solutions. Consumers are eagerly embracing tech, especially when it comes to communicating with their providers. Forty-eight percent said they would be more likely to communicate with health care professionals if they were able to do so through digital messaging (up from 41% in 2019), via telehealth (32%, up from 19% in 2019) and through virtual office visits such as Skype or FaceTime (29%, up from 20% in 2019). Additionally, 40% of consumers said they would be very likely to receive care for mental and behavioral health virtually.

"The pandemic has forced countless Americans to rethink their approach to health and explore different avenues of care," notes Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health. "Whether in the community, in the home or in the palm of their hand, people are discovering new ways to conveniently and affordably address their health care needs, including mental and behavioral health. We expect these changes will transform the way care is delivered moving forward."

The need to manage chronic conditions and mental health concerns is clearly top of mind for many consumers. A significant number of people indicated that members of their households are struggling with high blood pressure (41%), obesity (35%), mental illness (28%) and diabetes (17%).

Addressing mental health concerns is also of growing importance, especially among those aged 18 34 and 35 50, where social isolation is a top concern. For example, 44% of those aged 18 to 34 and 45% of those aged 35 to 50 indicated they no longer have a desire to be social, while only 29% of those aged 51 to 64 said the same. This resembles the 2019 findings, in which 48% of those 18 to 34 and 45% of those 35 to 50 reported they did not have a desire to be social, versus 35% of people aged 51 to 64.

The desire for accessibility is pushing people to explore new avenues of care. While a majority (62%) of consumers still go to their primary care physician (PCP) to treat a minor illness or injury, nearly one-third (31%) are likely to visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic. This is up from 2019, in which 59% of consumers reported going to their PCP for a minor illness or injury, while 28% said they would visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic. Digital solutions such as telemedicine are also growing in popularity with both patients and providers.

Most consumers (92%) said it is very or somewhat important that health care be convenient a factor that has only become more critical as a result of COVID-19.

About one-third (35%) of people said health care costs are an obstacle to staying healthy, and close to half (49%) have not visited a doctor when they had a minor illness or injury due to cost. Despite cost emerging as a top barrier to care, it is not often a topic of discussion between patients and health care providers. Two-thirds of patients (66%) said their PCP and other health care providers had not asked about the "affordability" of health care and/or discussed resources to assist with these costs, up slightly from 64% in the 2019 Path to Better Health Study.

Other highlights from the study include:

  • Health care providers are increasingly turning to digital tools and technologies to care for and connect with their patients. Telemedicine is of particular interest, with 40% of providers saying it is very valuable for communicating with patients, up from 22% in the 2019 study. The future outlook for incorporating predictive analytics or artificial intelligence into provider practices also looks strong, with more than one-third (39%) indicating they already have or are very or somewhat likely to integrate these technologies into their practices within the next several years.

  • Providers are expressing the need for additional support for important community resources, but access is improving. For example, many providers said they have fair or poor access to substance abuse counselors (56%) and mental health counselors (50%), down from 63% and 55% in our 2019 study, respectively.

  • Many providers are experiencing burnout symptoms. Three-fourths (75%) of all providers said they feel burned out very frequently, frequently or sometimes. About one-quarter (27%) said the main cause of burnout is time spent documenting care/electronic record systems, followed by administrative/management requirements/paperwork (25%).

Read the full study.

About the study

The Path to Better Health Study by CVS Health, first released in 2018 and called the Health Ambitions Study, was conducted in March 2020 and included two surveys fielded by Market Measurement, a national market research consulting firm. The consumer survey comprised 1,000 participants 18 and older, located throughout the U.S. It also oversampled 12 metropolitan statistical areas Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Hartford, San Francisco, Tampa and among two ethnic groups: African American and Hispanic people. The survey of 400 providers focused on primary care physicians and specialists with at least two years' experience, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

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.

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Kathleen Biesecker
bieseckerk@aetna.com
703-472-8466

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Path to Better Health Study 2020

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CVS Health’s 2020 Path to Better Health Study finds that consumers are seeking a more accessible, affordable and technology-enabled health care experience than ever before. 

The American health care system is undergoing a time of accelerated innovation and transformation. Consumer expectations for convenient and personalized health care support, coupled with the exploding use of technology and data analytics, are just several trends driving critical change. The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has also provided an opportunity to further advance health care delivery and utilization to better meet the needs of our patients, our customers and our communities.

According to our 2020 Path to Better Health Study, now in its third year, consumers and providers are hungry for this care transformation and want health solutions that meet them where they are — in store, in home and in hand.

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40%

of consumers said they would be very likely to receive care for mental and behavioral health virtually.

71%

of consumers indicated they were greatly concerned with treating chronic illness due to cost. 

81%

of providers reported that they always, often or sometimes recommend that their patients establish health goals during routine office visits.

Importance of accessibility and affordability

Delivering accessible, high-quality care at any time is a key health care priority — and has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to our study, consumers agree, with 92% indicating that it was very or somewhat important that health care be convenient. 

We found that people’s desire for accessibility is pushing them to explore new avenues of care. While a majority of consumers still go to their primary care physician (PCP) to treat a minor illness or injury, nearly one-third of consumers are likely to visit a non-emergency walk-in clinic.

Consumers are receiving routine support for minor illnesses or injuries at several sites of care: 62% report visiting their primary care physician; 31% report using emergency walk-in clinics; 18% report visiting a hospital emergency room; and 15% report visiting community health clinics.

“Consumers are demanding convenience and ease in how they access health services. Technological solutions have the power to simplify health care and significantly expand the ways we deliver it,” said Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS Health, adding that COVID-19 has provided an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate transformation and drive lasting and systemic change in the American health care system. “Our growing local presence and expansion of virtual care, telemedicine, and other omnichannel programs will be critical to meeting the health needs of our members and customers, both during and after the pandemic.” 

Affordability is also top-of-mind for consumers. About one-third (35%) of people said health care costs are an obstacle to staying healthy, while close to half (49%) have not visited a doctor when they had a minor illness or injury due to cost, suggesting that consumers could use additional support in this area.


Increasing appetite for technology-enabled care

The use of technology across the health care continuum has been rising at a rapid rate. As a result of COVID-19, the pace of technological transformation will only quicken and greatly influence the future of care delivery. 

Our study shows that people want to use technology to enhance communication with their health care providers, by adopting tools like digital messaging, telemedicine and virtual office visits. Among providers, their use of digital technologies to care for and connect with patients is also expanding. Telehealth is of particular interest, with 40% of providers saying it is very valuable for communicating with patients, up from 22% in our 2019 study.

The use of digital tools to facilitate communication between patients and providers is on the rise. Digital messaging among consumers is up 7% from 2019 with an overall usage of 48%. Among providers, digital messaging is down 2% from 2019 but overall usage is at 36%. Telehealth services, have shown a 14% increases among consumers, with a 32% overall usage rate. Among providers, usage of telehealth services increased 18% with a 40% usage overall.

Our Path to Better Health Study also found that:

  • Mental health is of critical concern for consumers, especially among those aged 18 to 34 and 35 to 50, with the issue of social isolation being a top concern.
  • Consumers, as well as their friends, family and other household members, are struggling with chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, obesity, mental illness and diabetes. 
  • Health care providers still need more support in accessing important community-based resources, such as nutritionists and social workers, but this access is improving. 
  • Many providers are experiencing burnout symptoms at least some of the time. 
  • Awareness of and involvement in value-based care models is growing.
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Methodology 

The Path to Better Health Study by CVS Health, first released in 2018 and called the Health Ambitions Study, was conducted in March 2020 and included two surveys fielded by Market Measurement, a national market research consulting firm. The consumer survey comprised 1,000 participants 18 and older, located throughout the U.S. It also oversampled 12 metropolitan statistical areas — Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Hartford, San Francisco, Tampa and among two ethnic groups: African Americans and Hispanics. The survey of 400 providers focused on primary care physicians and specialists with at least two years’ experience, as well as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists.

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Expanding precision oncology care

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Tech entrepreneurs talk as much about working “on their business” as working “in their business” — another way of saying that innovating is as important as working on the day-in and day-out needs for a business to succeed. While the daily demands of patient care take a majority of their focus, oncologists, like smart tech executives, see technological advances and innovative oncology therapeutics as essential to improving the patient journey.

Today’s health care environment includes expanding the use of precision medicine, genomics, and technology, as well as increasing access to appropriate treatments to help improve patient experiences and outcomes. 

Precision medicine and the role of genomics

The late Clayton Christensen, renowned author and Harvard Business School professor who wrote at length on “disruptive innovation,” noted that precision medicine could aid in driving down health care costs without compromising quality or outcomes. Oncology evidence-based guidelines have been shown to improve treatment, outcomes, and costs by quickly starting patients on the most effective treatment, often with fewer side effects and less treatment time.https://ascopubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1200/JOP.17.00091

CVS Health’s Divisional Head of Enterprise Oncology Dr. Roger Brito describes the company’s precision approach that employs disruptive innovation: “The critical period between diagnosis and starting on therapy is an incredibly stressful and scary time for a patient. The ideal situation is to formulate the optimum treatment plan and get the patient started on the appropriate therapy as soon as possible.” 

Still, with approximately 700 updates in 24 months across 59 different National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) treatment and supportive care regimens, and a 63 percent expansion in oncology drugs in development in the last decade (IMS Health, R&D Focus, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, May 2016.), applying the most current therapies in daily practice is difficult for many oncologists.

“Keeping up with all of the changes in treatment, like the rapidly expanding oncology drug pipeline and evolving clinical guidelines for cancer treatment, can be very challenging for oncologists. 60% of community oncologists regularly use cancer pathwaysHigh-quality oncology clinical pathways are detailed, evidence-based treatment protocols for delivering cancer care to patients with specific disease types and stages. When properly designed and implemented, oncology pathways can serve as an important tool in improving care quality and reducing costs. https://www.asco.org/practice-policy/cancer-care-initiatives, so there is an opportunity to better support them in delivering the latest in cancer care,” says Brito.

On top of that, consider the exciting opportunity to enhance precision medicine with the latest genomics science and technology. “Identifying the genomic landscape of an individual patient’s tumor enables oncologists to treat the root cause specifically and more effectively,” says CVS Health’s Transformation Vice President for Complex Chronic Disease Anne Claussen.

CVS Health’s analysis suggests that broad-panel genomic sequencing may result in cost savings, and a pilot is underway that will explore this in depth.

With little debate over the efficacy of genomic testing, many wonder why 60 percent of advanced cancer care patients receive no genetic testing.https://www.foundationmedicine.com/blog/uncovering-insights-in-pancreatic-and-prostate-cancers “There are currently 125 approved cancer drugs and 86% of those in late-stage development that require genetic testing, yet few eligible patients receive a companion lab test. And even when advanced testing is administered, patients often receive the less comprehensive single gene mutation test, which does not provide a patient’s complete genetic profile,” says Claussen.

Testing a patient’s tumor, looking at DNA and RNA sequencing, and pairing that data with a patient’s health information is complicated and requires expertise in pharmacogenomics to interpret. Further, oncologists also need experience and training with such data to explain results to their patients. Here again, time is critically important to get the patient on the appropriate therapy as soon as possible.

Using technology to speed and expand support

CVS Health is building on its experience and bringing together capabilities across our health plan and pharmacy businesses to make precision medicine and genomics more accessible while easing adoption for oncologists with our Transform Oncology Care program.

Claussen stated, “We are proactively partnering with oncologists to develop and enhance our oncology care solutions by facilitating frequent, two-way feedback and providing reporting that highlights opportunities and gaps to improve health outcomes.”

CVS Health is helping oncologists employ broad-panel gene sequencing tests with the latest NCCN treatment and supportive care guidelines that help in the selection of the most precise and appropriate treatment regimen based on the patient’s clinical and genetic profile. Additionally, providers are notified of applicable clinical trials that their patients may qualify to participate in. “Here is where we see the power of precision medicine and evidence-based tools such as our Transform Oncology Care program, which allows providers to request an authorization online and receive approval within minutes. Patient anxiety is eased because they will get their treatment in a timely manner, and the provider’s process flow is streamlined, resulting in a much better patient experience,” explains Dr. Brito.

Transform Oncology Care strives to provide targeted strategies for every step of the cancer care journey.

Read the infographic.

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COVID-19 data reveals huge health disparities

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Forty-six-year-old Angelene Sailes always helped those in need. The Detroit resident enjoyed looking after her nieces and nephews and volunteered regularly in her church community, says her cousin Marquitta Sailes

So it was especially painful when Angelene died alone in the hospital on March 26 of COVID-19 complications. “There was no one there with her in her final moments,” says Sailes. “It didn’t have to be that way.”

Compounding the devastation was the hindsight that Angelene lacked critical information about the risks for COVID-19 at its onset.

Statistics now show that Black people are dying from COVID-19 at a rate that is nearly two times higher than their share of the nationwide populationhttps://covidtracking.com/race?fbclid=IwAR1L-IN8L3INPqsaXjl_TY7UM7LTtuygKUA7tdkL3CROPWv6Hg8MJCkKq78, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project and the Antiracist Research & Policy Center. In hard-hit states like Michigan, the rate is nearly three times greater.

Angelene Sailes and Marquitta Sailes.
Angelene and Marquitta. Angelene died alone at age 46 from COVID-19 complications.
“It just breaks my heart because we're dealing with two pandemics. We’re dealing with racism and we’re dealing with a virus that’s killing more African Americans.” — Marquitta Sailes
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Research is finding that the social determinants of health, which include housing, education and employment, are linked to increased risks of COVID-19 infections and deaths.

“We have seen the COVID-19 pandemic expose clear problems that our health care system has been facing for many years, including disparities in potentially deadly conditions based on people’s race and ethnicity,” says Dr. Garth Graham, Vice President, Community Health and Impact, CVS Health. “Social determinants can directly impact someone’s overall health and life expectancy, so in a situation like a pandemic, this issue is amplified, especially in at-risk communities.”

Understanding that more work needs to be done, CVS Health is prioritizing the needs of Black communities as it expands COVID-19 testing nationwide.

Health disparities, race and COVID-19 risks

As data surrounding COVID-19 continues to bring America’s health disparities into greater focus, findings show Black people are being impacted at a disproportionate rate across the country.

Read the infographic.

Over half the company’s more than 1,400 testing sites serve moderate to high needs communities, as measured by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index. While these sites primarily accommodate drive-through customers, CVS Health is also launching new no-cost walk-up testing sites in underserved communities. Since March, CVS Health has conducted 1 million COVID-19 tests nationwide.

“Through our partnerships, we are able to reach people who may lack easy access to testing,” says David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies & Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. “By working together to address racial disparities, we can flatten the curve and help save lives.”

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Get the right care for you – even during a pandemic

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By Dr. Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Vice President, Community Health & Impact, CVS Health, and Oliver T. Brooks, MD, President, National Medical Association

This story was also featured in U.S.News & World Report.

We have all seen the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had in communities across the country. And as we’ve watched the case numbers and death toll rise, we’ve seen an unsurprising trend: The virus began to level a disproportionate blow to minority and underserved populations.

This trend has continued, with Black and Hispanic communities across the United States showing more significant effects from COVID-19 compared with other demographic groups, whether through greater financial impacts, higher rates of infection or higher rates of death. When age is taken into account, the death rate for Black Americans is 3.6 times that of whites, and Hispanics' is 2.5 times higher, according to recent research from the Brookings Institution

While elected leaders, public health officials and the business community have worked together to reach into communities with expanded testing and other resources, we know we’re treating a symptom of a larger issue. One in 2 Americans have a chronic disease, and it is well-documented that members of underserved communities face higher rates of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that young Black Americans are living with diseases more common at older ages, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Hispanic and Latino Americans have a 50% chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

We are working to address these racial and ethnic disparities in treatment and care that public health experts have known about for years, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare. Today, that mission is more critical than ever before as both of these crises converge to create another negative consequence of the pandemic: Many people with chronic conditions are delaying care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a health care setting. 

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, nearly half of Americans said either they or someone in their household has skipped or delayed needed medical care because of the coronavirus. Alarmingly, a significant share of those who postponed care reported that they or their family member's condition worsened as a result.  According to a New York Times editorial by leaders of the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic, cancer diagnoses are down by 45 percent, and reports of heart attack and stroke are down by 38 and 30 percent, respectively – all indicating that individuals are not seeking care for acute emergencies or getting regular screenings.

While much is still unknown about COVID-19, the impacts of these devastating conditions are well-known, and treatment and preventive care protocols are well-established. It is absolutely critical for those suffering or at risk to continue regular doctor visits and seek treatment in the event of a medical emergency such as a stroke or heart attack. Aetna, a CVS Health company, is using data analytics to identify members with chronic conditions who may be at higher risk for COVID-19 and providing support to not only keep them from contracting the disease, but also to make sure they are continuing to receive the care they need for their existing health issues. 

Health care professionals across the country understand this issue and are making themselves more readily available for health issues not related to COVID-19, while at the same time creating protocols to keep their patients safe. Telehealth has experienced a huge surge in adoption over the past few months, allowing patients and providers to connect virtually without risk of exposure to the virus. In fact, the utilization of telemedicine for virtual visits through CVS Health MinuteClinic is up by nearly 600% compared with the first quarter of 2019. 

Yet even though the ability to see patients virtually can be a huge advantage in helping limit the spread of COVID-19, there are certain health issues that benefit from being addressed in a person-to-person setting. Making sure that people know it is safe to receive care in a clinical setting if it is needed is absolutely essential to maintaining the overall health of the population, particularly for individuals with chronic diseases.

While it is an uncertain time for our nation’s health, and we’re only beginning to see the ripple effects of gaps in treatment for chronic diseases, our aim is always to care for the patients we serve, especially the most vulnerable. That’s why we’re trying to help educate all Americans about the importance of maintaining treatment for chronic disease, dispel fears preventing people from going to the hospital or doctor’s office, and provide key resources and tools for patients and health care providers alike. The National Medical Association and other community-focused organizations can serve as trusted resources and deliver this message to underserved populations.

We all have a role to play in combating the health inequities that have plagued our underserved communities for many years. The impacts of COVID-19 have placed a bright light on that mission over the last few months and have made that work even more important.

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CVS Health helps Americans return to worksites and campuses with comprehensive COVID-19 testing solution

CVS Health helps Americans return to worksites and campuses with comprehensive COVID-19 testing solution
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Return Ready™ offers organizations a customizable COVID-19 testing solution, clinical protocols and reporting to meet their unique worksite or campus needs

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the launch of Return Ready™, a comprehensive, customizable COVID-19 testing solution for employers and universities. The solution helps return employees to worksites and students, faculty and staff to campuses, and integrates COVID-19 testing for ongoing business continuity. With flexible technology options for on-site testing and/or drive-thru testing at CVS Pharmacy locations, organizations can design a customized testing strategy to meet their unique needs. Return Ready builds on CVS Health's commitment to helping the country on its path forward by making COVID-19 testing available to consumers, the business community, universities and vulnerable populations impacted by the virus.

At the core of the end-to-end solution is a customized COVID-19 testing strategy guided by clinical consultation that allows organizations to choose who, how, where, and when to test employees or students. The solution also includes:

  • Clinician-informed protocols and guidance for symptom checking and temperature screenings;

  • On-site licensed professionals for COVID-19 testing and support;

  • Turnkey employee and student communications toolkit;

  • Digital tools for test scheduling and sharing of results;

  • Integrated reporting and analytics across testing locations;

  • On-site immunization clinic with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-recommended vaccination services, such as the seasonal flu vaccine; and

  • Access to add-on solutions such as thermal scanners, digital symptom monitoring and contact tracing technology.

"Organizations can rely on our customizable return to worksite and campus solution, which will evolve and adapt to include the latest COVID-19 testing technology and clinical protocols to meet their specific population health management needs," said Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. "Return Ready is one more way that we're increasing access to COVID-19 testing options whether in the local community at CVS Pharmacy locations or where people work and study."

How Return Ready testing works

Return Ready offers organizations clinical consultation, end-to-end testing execution, integrated reporting and additional health and safety solutions to help reduce COVID-19 transmission. The testing technology options include point-of-care testing with results in a few minutes or third-party lab processed testing with results in a few days. The organization can choose to offer testing on-site and in a safe testing environment set up by CVS Health or in the local community at one of the CVS Pharmacy drive-thru testing locations which are anticipated to reach 1,400 sites by the end of the week. For example, some organizations with high-density populations working in close proximity that need rapid results may choose on-site, point-of-care testing overseen by licensed CVS Health professionals to receive immediate alerts of positive results for contact tracing. Others may prefer lab-processed tests, with results in a few days, conducted either on-site or at a nearby CVS Pharmacy testing location, which enables organizations to test a large number of individuals quickly and/or ensures convenience for those with a distributed workforce. Many organizations may choose a combination of both testing options, and the testing protocols will vary based on the organization's physical worksite environment and COVID-19 risk and exposure.

Return Ready also includes an analytics dashboard for ongoing oversight and trends across worksite location(s), along with state and federal reporting of test results, as required. The company's testing protocols are informed by the latest technology and science, giving organizations the ability to continually access emerging testing solutions and protocols. Return Ready is available to U.S. employers and universities, and in addition, CVS Health will implement the solution for its own employees.

CVS Health’s commitment to COVID-19 testing

Return Ready builds on CVS Health's leadership in responding to the pandemic that began with its very first COVID-19 testing site in March. Now, through its extensive presence in communities across the country, and clinical, operational, and technological expertise, CVS Health is improving access to COVID-19 testing and helping people manage pandemic-related health challenges. This includes a focus on testing in underserved and vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as well as solutions that increase testing for patients and staff in nursing homes and rehab facilities.

For more information on Return Ready, visit https://cvshealth.com/returnready. In addition, learn more about the steps that CVS Health is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company in the world. 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 contact

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
401-479-6570
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

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COVID-19 testing for employers and universities

Return Ready™ by CVS Health® is a fully configurable COVID-19 testing solution for the workplace and college campuses.

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Return Ready for workplaces

Providing employers with a customizable COVID-19 testing and return-to-worksite solution for ongoing business continuity.

Learn more

Return Ready for campuses

Providing colleges and universities a scalable COVID-19 testing solution to rapidly return students, faculty and staff to campus and help maintain continuity in campus life.

Learn more
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Symptom monitoring and contact tracing support

Salesforce customers can combine Return Ready’s COVID-19 testing with complementary symptom checking and contact tracing services from Salesforce via their Work.com platform.

Learn more
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Organizations can rely on our customizable return to worksite and campus solution, which will evolve and adapt to include the latest COVID-19 testing technology and clinical protocols.

Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health


Important information

COVID-19 testing does not eliminate the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus Disease 2019. Further, available testing procedures may produce false negative or false positive results due to a variety of factors. Clients should consider these factors in developing their return to workplace policies and procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented and still-evolving legal landscape for clients. You may need to consider various federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or other mandates when developing your return to worksite plans. Competent legal counsel should be consulted. This is not intended to be a complete description of the terms and conditions of the Return Ready program. Services described would be provided by CVS Pharmacy, Inc. or a subsidiary, including but not limited to MinuteClinic, LLC and its subsidiaries and managed entities. In addition, access to additional health and safety solutions such as contact tracing and symptom checker may be through third parties. Not all services available in all locations.

Lab samples are sent offsite to independent, third-party labs and majority of results are returned in approximately 3 to 7 days. Please note that lab delays may occur, particularly in areas experiencing high demand.

Return Ready™ for campuses

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A comprehensive, fully configurable COVID-19 testing solution to get your students, faculty and staff back to campus.

COVID-19 has upended the way we work, teach and study. Though the pandemic will not end until widespread vaccination is a reality, colleges and universities need a solution to return to campus and maintain continuity.

Return Ready, by CVS Health, provides the most comprehensive, flexible and scalable COVID-19 testing solution, enabling your college or university to return back to campus with testing and reporting prior to arrival, upon arrival and then ongoing throughout the semester.

CONTACT US TO GET STARTED

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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Higher education institutions can rely on our customizable back-to-campus solution, which will evolve and adapt to changes in technology and clinical protocols and meet their unique population health management needs.

Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health


Flexible COVID-19 testing

We recognize that every campus has its own unique set of needs. With Return Ready, you can choose who, how and where to test. Individuals can be tested before they return to campus, when they return to campus and intermittently throughout the semester, as well as receive case-by-case testing based on symptoms, exposure and risk factors.

From point-of-care testing with results in minutes to third-party lab processed testing with results in a few days, we’ll customize the testing solution that works best for each institution.

Testing before arriving to campus

CVS Pharmacy® drive-thru testing locations, results in daysLab samples are sent offsite to independent, third-party labs and majority of results are returned in approximately 3 to 7 days. Please note that lab delays may occur, particularly in areas experiencing high demand..
Students, faculty and staff can be tested before they arrive to campus at our more than 1,800 CVS Pharmacy drive-thru locationsAvailable at select CVS Pharmacy locations (approximately 1,800 locations in AZ, CA, CT, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI). Service offering in NY and NJ is pending.. Testing can be scheduled online and results are available via a web-based portal.

Set up a consultation

Testing upon arrival and ongoing monitoring

On-campus rapid testing, results in minutes.
Rapid point-of-care molecular diagnostic testing on campus. Testing sites can be set up in large campus facilities, such as recreation centers and auditoriums.

On-campus swab-and-send testing, results in days.
Samples collected on campus and/or at our more than 1,800 CVS Pharmacy drive-thru testing locations. Testing can be scheduled online and results are available via a web-based portal.

Set up a consultation


Consultation and planning

We work with colleges and universities to develop an effective testing strategy to meet their specific needs.

  • Fully configurable COVID-19 testing strategy

  • Clinician-informed protocols for symptom checking and temperature screening

  • Access to additional solutions (e.g., symptom monitoring, contact tracing)


End-to-end testing execution

A team of dedicated, full-time professionals will help to design, stand up, manage and evolve testing and vaccination services.

  • On-campus logistics and turnkey communications toolkit

  • Licensed professionals on site for testing and student/staff support

  • Digital scheduling and results tools

  • On-campus or pharmacy-based vaccination services

SET UP A CONSULTATION

An unknown person uses a laptop to check the Return Ready™ by CVS Health web-based dashboard displaying data and test results.

Symptom monitoring and contact tracing support

Salesforce customers can combine Return Ready’s COVID-19 testing with complementary symptom checking and contact tracing services from Salesforce via their Work.com platform.

Learn more
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Start planning your return

Let us partner with you to implement your organization’s testing strategy. Please complete the two-step form below and our team will follow up within a few days.

Are you an individual looking for COVID-19 testing? Please visit our COVID-19 testing page for options.

Who are you looking to test?  Please select at least one and all that apply
How did you first hear about our COVID-19 testing solution?  Please select at least one and all that apply. If you select other, please specify in following field
In addition to COVID-19 testing, which other return-to-work solutions would you like to discuss?  Please select at least one and all that apply. If you select other, please specify in following field


Important information

COVID-19 testing does not eliminate the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus Disease 2019. Further, available testing procedures may produce false negative or false positive results due to a variety of factors. Institutions should consider these factors in developing their return to campus policies and procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented and still-evolving legal landscape for organizations. You may need to consider various federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or other mandates when developing your return to campus plans. Competent legal counsel should be consulted. This  is not intended to be a complete description of the terms and conditions of the Return Ready program. Services described would be provided by CVS Pharmacy, Inc. or a subsidiary, including but not limited to MinuteClinic, LLC and its subsidiaries and managed entities. In addition, access to additional health and safety solutions such as contact tracing and symptom checker may be through third parties. Not all services available in all locations.

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Return Ready™ for workplaces

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A comprehensive, fully configurable COVID-19 testing solution to get you back to business.

COVID-19 has upended the way we work and live. Though the pandemic will not end until widespread vaccination is a reality, businesses need a solution to bring employees back to the workplace safely.

Return Ready, by CVS Health, provides the most comprehensive, flexible COVID-19 testing solution to support your return-to-work strategy and ongoing business continuity through a combination of rapid worksite testing and/or drive-thru testing at our CVS Pharmacy® test locations.

CONTACT US TO GET STARTED

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

cvs heart

Employers can rely on our customizable back to work solution, which will evolve and adapt to changes in technology and clinical protocols and meet their unique population health management needs.

Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health

A male and female business consultant, both wearing face masks and holding clipboards, talk over a set of plans in a modern-looking office environment.


Flexible testing solutions

We recognize that every business has its own unique set of needs. With Return Ready, organizations can select or combine the right model for their workplace strategy by choosing who, how and where to test.

A business man, wearing a face mask and a blue suit, reads his mobile phone while walking down a palm tree-lined sidewalk on a bright, sunny day.
A young woman inside of her car, wearing a green hooded sweatshirt and a face mask, uses a testing swab at a drive-thru CVS Pharmacy location that offers COVID-19 testing.

Consultation and planning

We work with businesses to develop an effective testing strategy to meet their specific needs.

  • Fully configurable COVID-19 testing strategy

  • Clinician-informed protocols for symptom checking and temperature screening

  • Access to additional solutions (e.g., symptom monitoring, contact tracing)


End-to-end testing execution

A team of dedicated, full-time professionals will help to design, stand up, manage and evolve testing and vaccination services.

  • On-site logistics and turnkey communications toolkit

  • Licensed professionals on site for testing and employee support

  • Digital scheduling and results tools

  • On-site or pharmacy-based vaccination services

SET UP A CONSULTATION

An unknown person uses a laptop to check the Return Ready™ by CVS Health web-based dashboard displaying data and test results.

Symptom monitoring and contact tracing support

Salesforce customers can combine Return Ready’s COVID-19 testing with complementary symptom checking and contact tracing services from Salesforce via their Work.com platform.

Learn more
Logo of Salesforce

Start planning your return

Let us partner with you to implement your organization’s testing strategy. Please complete the two-step form below and our team will follow up within a few days.

Are you an individual looking for COVID-19 testing? Please visit our COVID-19 testing page for options.

Who are you looking to test?  Please select at least one and all that apply
How did you first hear about our COVID-19 testing solution?  Please select at least one and all that apply. If you select other, please specify in following field
In addition to COVID-19 testing, which other return-to-work solutions would you like to discuss?  Please select at least one and all that apply. If you select other, please specify in following field


Important information

COVID-19 testing does not eliminate the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 or Coronavirus Disease 2019. Further, available testing procedures may produce false negative or false positive results due to a variety of factors. Clients should consider these factors in developing their return to workplace policies and procedures. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented and still-evolving legal landscape for clients. You may need to consider various federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or other mandates when developing your return to worksite plans. Competent legal counsel should be consulted. This is not intended to be a complete description of the terms and conditions of the Return Ready program. Services described would be provided by CVS Pharmacy, Inc. or a subsidiary, including but not limited to MinuteClinic, LLC and its subsidiaries and managed entities. In addition, access to additional health and safety solutions such as contact tracing and symptom checker may be through third parties. Not all services available in all locations.

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Helping America on its path forward: Reopening worksites and campuses in the era of COVID-19

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COVID-19 has significantly impacted our economy, and many organizations, including employers and universities, have had to alter or temporarily shutter their worksites and campuses as a result of stay-at-home orders. Now, as state and local governments begin to move through their phased reopening efforts, organizations require a comprehensive COVID-19 strategy to return to worksites and campuses. This is especially important as the country prepares for a potential second wave of the virus this fall.

While community-based protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as social distancing and the use of cloth face coverings in public, have helped slow and control the spread of COVID-19, widespread access to COVID-19 testing is critical, especially as communities start to reopen. For organizations, this is also an important tool in their return to worksite or campus strategy.

Through our extensive presence in communities across the country, we are improving access to COVID-19 testing and helping people manage pandemic-related health challenges. This includes a focus on testing in underserved and vulnerable communities that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, as well as solutions that increase testing for patients and staff in nursing homes and rehab facilities.

Now, we’re building on our leadership in response to the pandemic by helping organizations, including employers and universities, reopen their worksites and campuses with our new Return Ready™ solution.

Return Ready

Return Ready offers organizations clinical consultation, end-to-end COVID-19 testing execution, integrated reporting and additional health and safety solutions to help reduce COVID-19 transmission. At the core, it is a customized COVID-19 testing strategy, guided by clinical consultation, and includes a combination of testing on-site and/or drive-thru testing at CVS Pharmacy locations. This allows organizations to choose who, how, where and when to test employees or students to help meet their specific population health management needs.

The solution also includes:

  • Clinician-informed protocols and guidance for symptom checking and temperature screenings;

  • On-site licensed professionals for COVID-19 testing and support;

  • Turnkey employee and student communications toolkit;

  • Digital tools for test scheduling and sharing of results;

  • Integrated reporting and analytics across testing locations;

  • On-site immunization clinic with CDC-recommended vaccination services, such as the seasonal flu vaccine; and

  • Access to add-on solutions such as thermal scanners, digital symptom monitoring and contact tracing technology.

Return Ready is available to all U.S. employers and universities, and we will also implement the solution for our own CVS Health employees.

“Return Ready is one more way that we’re increasing access to COVID-19 testing options whether in the local community at CVS Pharmacy locations or where people work and study,” said Troyen Brennan, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, CVS Health.

Visit the Return Ready page for more information. In addition, learn more about the steps that CVS Health is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic at the company’s frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

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