CVS Health collaborates with Cancer Treatment Centers of America to provide in-home chemotherapy

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Coram, CVS Health’s infusion care business, will administer cancer treatment at home for eligible CTCA patients

Home-based chemotherapy is a convenient, accessible way to help avoid unnecessary risk or exposure to COVID-19 from inpatient or in-office cancer care

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today it is working with Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) to increase access to chemotherapy at home for eligible, fully insured patients. Together, the companies are focused on minimizing patient exposure to COVID-19 from inpatient or hospital outpatient settings during the ongoing pandemic while ensuring continuity of critical cancer care. The program leverages Coram’s home infusion capabilities, coupled with training in chemotherapy administration based on Oncology Nursing Society guidelines, harnessing CTCA’s expertise as a top oncology care provider to give patients who may have delayed their care due to COVID-19 the flexibility to receive treatment from the safety and comfort of home. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges for immunocompromised patients with cancer looking for ways to safely continue their care, while minimizing their exposure to the virus,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty. “This collaborative arrangement with Cancer Treatment Centers of America allows us to combine our unique expertise in home infusion and clinical oncology to help more patients access treatment from the safety of their home.”

Clinically eligible and fully insured CTCA patients with a range of cancers, including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancers, and some genitourinary cancers on particular chemotherapy/immunotherapy medications, will begin their first cycles of infused chemotherapy in the hospital or outpatient care center, and, if tolerated over a number of months, can be transitioned home for continued infusions. Once home, patients will receive in-home Coram nurse visits to administer the therapy, paired with regular telehealth visits and digital therapeutic check-ins with their CTCA clinician, care team, pharmacists and other clinical staff as needed. More information is available at www.cancercenter.com/oncology-clinic-at-home.

“Putting patients first has been our philosophy for over 30 years, and working together with CVS is an extension upon in which we can better meet their needs, especially in light of a pandemic. For a variety of reasons, COVID-19 has caused far too many people to skip or delay treatments. We’re seeing a 50% reduction in infusions, and, while a slight delay in treatments may have been appropriate at the pandemic’s onset, data is now pointing to increased mortality risk with every month of delayed care,” said Dr. Chevon M. Rariy, M.D., CTCA telehealth program director. “We’re proud to be working with Coram to provide home infusion of cancer treatment that prioritizes the safety of patients, their families and health care workers.” 

In collaboration with CTCA and their approach to quality, safe care, coupled with more than 35 years of infusion expertise, Coram has the ability to reach 97 percent of the U.S. population. The program is being piloted in the Atlanta market and will expand to other geographies over the next few months to help increase access to important home-based cancer care during and beyond the pandemic. More information on the steps that CVS Health is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is a national oncology network of hospitals and outpatient care centers offering an integrated approach that combines surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and advancements in precision medicine with supportive therapies to manage side effects and enhance quality of life during treatment and into survivorship. CTCA® publishes treatment results bi-annually including patient experience, length of life, quality of life, patient safety and quality of care. CTCA also offers qualified patients a range of clinical trials that may reveal new treatment options supported by scientific and investigational research. CTCA patient satisfaction scores consistently rank among the highest for all cancer care providers in the country. Visit cancercenter.com for more information.

Media contact

Maggie Naples
CVS Health
401-302-2390
maggie.naples@cvshealth.com

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CVS Health begins administering COVID-19 vaccines in long-term care facilities

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Majority of facilities nationwide have selected CVS Pharmacy as vaccination provider

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has formally launched its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionality impacted by the pandemic. CVS Pharmacy teams will administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states this week, and the company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program.

"Today's rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges," said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. "I'm grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones."

CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster. The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive. CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks.

CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week in the following states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. Vaccinations will begin in 36 more states, as well as the District of Columbia, on December 28. Puerto Rico will activate on January 4.

The long-term care facility vaccination effort is a precursor to the eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines at all CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country subject to product availability and prioritization of populations, which will be determined by states. Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis via CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and there will be a dedicated 800 number for people without online access. CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots per month.

"Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March," stated Karen S. Lynch, currently Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, who will become the company's next President and CEO on February 1. "The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime."

Multimedia assets from a December 18 visit to a long-term care facility in Connecticut are available here, in addition to interviews with CVS Health executives. More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

Media contact

T.J. Crawford
212-457-0583
crawfordt2@aetna.com

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How creativity and compassion drove CVS Specialty’s pandemic response

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 When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, CVS Specialty teams – from pharmacists and clinical experts to our specialized care and customer support units – confronted challenges they had never before seen. For example, Accordant, which provides nurse-led care management to members with complex, chronic diseases, and Coram, delivering specialty pharmacy and infusion therapy services in home-based and outpatient settings, realized they needed to make swift adjustments to ensure safety for all and continue providing quality care for patients.

Prem Shah, Executive Vice President, Specialty Pharmacy and Product Innovation for CVS Health, spoke recently with Andrew Krueger, M.D., Medical Director of Accordant Health Services, and Tricia Lacavich, Vice President and General Manager of Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services, to reflect on how they responded to the crisis and how it may have a longstanding impact on how CVS Specialty supports patients.

Prem Shah: At the beginning of the pandemic, we knew that our Accordant members and Coram patients would need extra support to make sure all of their concerns were addressed. How did Accordant and Coram work to respond to their members’ and patients’ needs during this time?

Tricia Lacavich: Because Coram offers home-based care, our top priority was creating a safe environment in the home for our patients. We began making video calls to patients to ensure they were feeling secure and able to competently access their medication. We also immediately put a screening process in place to protect the health of our patients and staff.

As you know, personal protective equipment (PPE) was in short supply at the beginning of the pandemic, and our patient-facing nurses were in critical need of gowns, gloves and N100 masks to make sure they remained safe in the patient's home.

You may also recall hospital occupancy was a major concern. And as you’ve said previously, unprecedented challenges require innovative thinking and swift action. Recognizing the need for quick solutions, we put our Hospital Capacity Optimization program in place to help transition eligible IV-therapy patients to home-based nursing care, with the goal of ultimately increasing hospital bed capacity for those who need it most during the pandemic. And now, we’re partnering with HHS to administer COVID-19 treatment to eligible, high-risk patients in their homes or long-term care facilities as part of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed.

Dr. Andrew Krueger: On the Accordant side, we were deeply concerned about the impact a COVID-19 diagnosis would have on our member population, many of whom are immunocompromised. We knew we had to act quickly to educate our staff on care management and prevention guidelines and create a space for them to share questions from our members. One of the ways we provided information to our staff was through a podcast series dedicated to COVID-19 education for our nurses. It covered a range of topics from prevention, to testing and treatments, which were critical to their day-to-day communication with their members. 

We also established a set of questions our nurses were required to ask every member on a regular basis to make sure they were staying safe and healthy. 

Prem Shah: There’s not a single person in this country who has been unaffected by COVID-19 or its ripple effects – even the healthiest among us. Many of our Specialty patients and members are particularly vulnerable. What have been your patients’ or member’s main concerns about COVID-19, and how have you responded?

Dr. Krueger: Everybody is different. Some Accordant members depend on their physicians for advice about the virus, while others rely on social media. But, across the board, we saw an increase in anxiety in our members – potentially due in part to misinformation. We organized our nurses to focus on keeping members safe and making sure they knew what to do if they got sick.

Depression has been another issue for many of our Accordant members. We’ve been screening members regularly for depression, and we helped with physician referrals and coordinating telehealth appointments when doctors weren’t seeing their patients in person.&

In the early days of the pandemic, some Accordant members told us they were nervous about getting their medications filled in-person at the pharmacy. We worked with them closely to address these concerns, and for many that included shifting to mail order to maintain continuity of care. It’s worth noting that every situation was unique, and the solution was not a one-size-fits-all, so this meant supporting members based on their needs.

Lacavich: Our Specialty patients were concerned about Coram staff coming to their home to administer the infusions, but they also didn’t feel comfortable going to an office or hospital to get them. We invested a lot in education to help patients understand our rigorous guidelines around COVID-19 symptom-checking and the use of PPE to quell their concerns. For example, think about how daunting the N100 mask looks at first. That could be scary for patients to see and it caused real concern, so we aimed to educate them on why our staff wore these masks: They may look scary at first, but they’re really a positive thing that’s meant to protect their health and ours.

In addition, our Specialty patients were also concerned about supply. Some of our tube-feeding patients expressed fear they would be unable to get their nutrition, or their child’s nutrition. Many patients called into our centers asking for 90- and 120-day refills. We worked continually to reassure patients that there was plenty of supply and they would not run out.

These efforts were no small feat and required round-the-clock work and creative thinking from the Coram team at the beginning of the pandemic. However, our patient’s safety comes first, and their appreciation kept our team going. In fact, we’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback from patients who were incredibly grateful to be able to receive their infusions at home, and shared that it not only helped them feel safe during the pandemic, but gave them that human connection so many of us were craving in those early days. In some instances, our Coram staff was there when no one else could be, including their own family.

Prem Shah: What is the greatest lesson you’ve taken away from the past several months?

Dr. Krueger: This is not a new lesson, but one that has been reinforced for me: Health care is deeply personal. It’s most effective when people have meaningful interactions with a real, live human being.

That’s where our nursing teams came in. Members were reassured they were not in this alone – that their care management team is there for them. In a world that was very uncertain and changing rapidly, they brought a bit of calmness and consistency to it.

Lacavich: I've learned we have to be ready to pivot from what we thought and knew as we confront new challenges with an open mind. These are stressful times but my team, as well CVS Specialty as a whole, proved they can move mountains. We faced some pretty challenging situations, but we worked together to ensure our No. 1 priority – patient safety and quality care. Despite the incredible challenges brought on by the pandemic, no one ever just threw their hands up and said, "This can't be done." To me that speaks volumes.

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CVS Health selected by U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, as part of a pilot, to administer recently authorized COVID-19 therapy to eligible patients in long-term care facilities and at home

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To meet the government’s Operation Warp Speed goals, Coram, the infusion care business of CVS Health, will provide timely patient access to new monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of COVID-19

Underscores role of CVS Health as a diversified health services company and expands work underway with HHS and Operation Warp Speed as CVS Health also prepares to administer COVID-19 vaccines

Woonsocket, R.I., December 2, 2020 – CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) was selected today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to pilot the administration of a limited supply of bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody therapy, with eligible COVID-19 patients at-risk of severe infection or complications resulting from the virus. Under this pilot, Coram, the specialty pharmacy and infusion care business of CVS Health, will administer the intravenous therapy in patients’ homes or long-term care facilities to help meet the growing demand for these new treatments. Coram and its more than 800 certified and highly trained nurses across the country are a prime example of how CVS Health offers diversified health services to transform health and meet people where they are – whether in normal times or during the ongoing pandemic.  

As COVID-19 rates surge in many parts of the country, Coram also has worked to help keep patients out of inpatient and hospital settings altogether, alleviating pressure on the health care system and preserving important hospital resources for the most critical patients. Since early in the pandemic, Coram has partnered with hospitals to safely transition eligible infusion patients home to help ensure hospital bed capacity to treat COVID-19 patients. Importantly, today’s announcement also expands the integral role of CVS Health on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. This includes work underway with HHS and Operation Warp Speed to administer COVID-19 vaccines when available, as well as a national COVID-19 testing infrastructure, which has enabled the company to perform more than eight million tests across more than 4,300 retail testing locations and onsite at workplaces and campuses around the country since the start of the pandemic. 

“These newly available, important COVID-19 treatments can make a difference for patients at high risk for severe illness or complications, but they need to be administered intravenously by health care providers and with the appropriate clinical expertise and oversight,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark and Senior Vice President, CVS Health. “Our Coram model allows us to meet patients where they are during the pandemic by delivering safe, clinically appropriate home-based care, and we stand ready to deploy our teams when and where the need is greatest as supply of these new monoclonal antibody treatments ramp up over the coming year.” 

Coram will begin administering 1,000 doses of monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of COVID-19 in seven cities and their surrounding communities starting Thursday, December 3rd, including Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Tampa, as new COVID-19 infections continue to rise rapidly in these regions. Following the pilot, and as drug supply increases, Coram will scale this solution to additional markets in areas of greatest need.

To be eligible for bamlanivimab through Coram, and in accordance with the therapy’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, patients must not be hospitalized, be within 10 days of symptom onset, at least 12 years of age or older, weighing at least 40 kilograms (or 88.2 pounds), and at high risk for progressing to severe disease and/or hospitalization. 

Patients can be referred to Coram for treatment from a hospital, urgent care or telemedicine appointment, long-term care facility or their primary care physician following a positive diagnosis. There is no out-of-pocket cost to the patient for this care.  

“Patients can rest assured they are receiving the best care possible through Coram in the safety and comfort of their own home or long-term care facility, and Coram is poised to continue to meet shifting health care demands as the importance and value of home-based care will undoubtedly outlive the pandemic,” added Prem Shah, Pharm.D., Executive Vice President of CVS Specialty and Product Innovation. “This established and experienced clinical service further demonstrates CVS Health’s unique ability to touch all aspects of a person’s health to make their experience more accessible and affordable.”

More information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company's frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we're transforming health at www.cvshealth.com.

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Health with Heart

We’re working to improve the health care experience for all, through innovative products and services and in communities nationwide.

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Building healthy communities

We’re committed to tackling public health challenges at the local level and driving inclusive and sustainable business in support of the communities we serve.

Learn how we’re building healthy communities

Improving health care

By looking at the whole picture of care, we’re working to make health more accessible, affordable and simply better.

Learn more about how we’re improving health care
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Innovations in care

Through new technologies, more personalized solutions and better ways to manage chronic conditions, we aim to create a more seamless health care experience for all.

Learn how we’re innovating health care

Improving health care

Healthy Conversations, Episode 2: COVID-19 Recovery

In this episode, Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research and Harvard’s Dr. Caroline Buckey, join our own Adam Pellegrini and Firdaus Bhathena to explore the cross-section of big data and virtual care.

Watch & listen to this episode

Building healthy communities

Providing access to food in Boston

During the pandemic, we’ve provided funding that has allowed Boston Medical Center to provide 
no-cost meals to more than 2,000 low-income individuals.

Read more

Chronic care

We take an integrated, coordinated approach to ensure you’re able to easily manage your chronic condition.

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For those with chronic and complex conditions, we’re with you every step of the way, so that you can better manage your day-to-day symptoms and, ultimately, lead a healthier life.

Latest on chronic care

Heart At Work: Coram Nurses nurture their patient to good health

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It was the peak of COVID-19 and their patient suffered from pancreatitis. When she recovered, she was so grateful for the expert round-the-clock care provided by Coram nurses: Nancy Marlett, Mallory Young and Lucy Runnels, she made a very special video to let them know. 

Nancy, Mallory and Lucy, thank you for nurturing your patient back to health through your medical expertise and dedication. You exemplify the very best in the profession.

Heart At Work recognizes CVS Health heroes across the country who bring their hearts to work, helping people on their path to better health. Read their stories, watch their videos and celebrate our CVS Health Heart At Work heroes along with us!

Three Coram® nurses, from left to right: Nancy Marlett, Mallory Young, and Lucy Runnels.
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Adventures abroad with parenteral nutrition

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In honor of Home Parenteral Nutrition Awareness Week, October 12-16, 2020, Coram patient Katie Marschilok shares how she won’t let total parenteral nutrition limit her bucket list travels.

Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN) Awareness Week, which takes place this year on October 12-16,  was established to spread the word that people can survive and live a full life on home parenteral nutrition. Katie Marschilok, of Troy, New York, exemplifies this. Despite beginning HPN with Coram in 2019, Katie is active and busy, defying assumptions of what life with HPN looks like. In fact, she is steadily making progress on her bucket list travels with her husband during retirement. 
 
"I feel determined to do the things he dreamed of, I don’t want to hold him back," Katie explains. Together, they have visited the Great Wall of China, Yellowstone National Park, Mount Rushmore, and the pyramids of Egypt.

Katie standing in front of Mount Rushmore with her husband.

In 2015, Katie began experiencing intestinal issues leading to pain, anemia, GI and bowel distress, and weight loss. After several attempts at treatment, she went on total parenteral nutrition, known as TPN, and finally began to feel better.
 
In TPN, all feeding is given directly into a vein, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract. Katie receives 14 hours of nutrition per day, most of it overnight. Brenna Kowalczyk, a Coram nurse, helps with weekly dressing changes, and registered dietitian Tara McGovern collaborates with Katie's gastroenterologist to assess her nutrition and labs.
 
During her first interaction with a Coram nurse at her hospital bedside in February 2019, Katie inadvertently issued a challenge. "I said, 'Oh, by the way, we have an Egyptian river cruise booked in three months. How can we make that happen?'"
 
Katie's Coram team accepted the challenge. Tara, Brenna and patient advocate Michael Medwar worked to adjust her nutrition formulations to travel halfway across the world without refrigeration — a delicate process involving trial and error — gathered and packed over 160 pounds of supplies, and planned for travel-related contingencies. 

"Michael was instrumental in helping me feel like I could do it. Same goes for the local branch, including Tara and others who do formulations,." Katie recalls. 
 
The trip went off without a hitch. 

Katie standing with her husband by a sign that reads, "Old Faithful Geyser"
Katie and her husband also visited Yellowstone National Park with the help of her Coram team to make sure she gets the nutrition she needs while traveling.

"It all worked out, and because it did work out, we felt comfortable booking a Machu Picchu and Galapagos trip for next summer. We've also done lots of smaller trips, Coram helps with anything that involves a flight,." Katie explains. 
 
Despite ongoing challenges, Katie remains positive and humble about the hurdles she's overcome. "You need to have a level of interest in your own self-care, a desire to be independent, and attention to detail. Anyone motivated and willing to wash their hands a lot can do it!"

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Keeping connections in a distanced world to transform chronic care

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By Jonathan Mayhew, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer, CVS Health

Four months ago, chronic care was one of the nation’s biggest health challenges, affecting more than half of all American adults and driving 90 percent of health care spending according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Four months ago, new tools for helping people better manage and even prevent chronic conditions were expanding our ability to reach people early and often, connecting them with our local care teams, local community resources and virtual capabilities to support everyday decisions between regular doctors’ visits. Whether individuals chose to seek support at home, at work, in the pharmacy, online, or through a combination of all these options – these increased connections and intervention in chronic care would help prevent emergency room visits and hospital readmissions, improve health outcomes and lower costs.

Today, I still believe increased support and connections are key to fighting chronic disease, which is still a top health care challenge. But our world is different in many ways than it was four months ago. We are managing and looking to recover from a grueling pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted minority and underserved populations. Many people with chronic conditions have already delayed care due to fear of contracting COVID-19 in a health care setting.  In the months ahead, stopping in at your local pharmacy or visiting a doctor may not sound as appealing as it once did. For some, it will be non-starter.

At CVS Health, we understand that. Still, it is critical for those suffering or at risk of chronic conditions to continue regular care. And our approach to helping individuals with chronic conditions, which includes innovative touchpoints and groundbreaking data analysis, reflects the evolving needs of our customers, including a new reality shaped by the pandemic.

Combining physical, digital and virtual for more support options

Our past and real-time experience tells us that, particularly during stressful times, individuals at home need expanded options for accessing support for everyday decisions related to diet and exercise as well as medical and behavioral health care. While we will continue to expand our brick-and-mortar HealthHUB® locations to provide in-person health and wellness care, pharmacy services and retail goods, we also are accelerating and expanding our digital presence and integrating new virtual capabilities into our care management programs.

Recently, we have expanded the ways customers can engage with a CVS pharmacist, MinuteClinic® clinicians, or HealthHUB concierges (where available) to receive services. So, while an individual may not travel to see her pharmacist – she can still speak live over the phone or engage through an app and, afterward, have her medications delivered to her home. Additionally, through expanding telehealth capabilities, many individuals can access doctors to address medical and behavioral health concerns. No matter their preference, individuals have an array of options to stay connected.

Within our care management and condition management programs, we are making sure that, in addition to traditional telephone support, care managers can provide support using telehealth services and, when it is deemed safe to do so, still visit with individuals in their homes.  

Data is the game changer

Data will make these options even more effective. In the past, when the topic of data and analytics was raised related to care or condition management, it typically meant relying on claims data exclusively. Today, CVS Health is not only able to bring together a broader set of data from prescription claims and medical claims, but we also combine that data with lab results, electronic health record data and information from medical devices and wearables where permitted. As we’ve seen in Korea and multiple other countries, along with some efforts in the U.S. to track COVID-19, this approach provides a much more comprehensive understanding of what is happening with an individual and within a community. And because we are able to aggregate and analyze this data in real time, the insights we can generate for care managers, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and doctors (as part of referrals and ongoing care coordination) are actionable and make health care simpler for individuals. This kind of data fuels our Pharmacist Panel program which notifies our pharmacists of potential gaps in care or preventive care opportunities based on medical, pharmacy and lab data. This expanded view makes it even easier for pharmacists to proactively engage members in relevant, impactful and timely one-on-one conversations about how best to manage their chronic conditions. And this outreach is delivered through member-preferred channels like text, email or telephone.

Moving to a comprehensive approach to condition management

Unmatched data and multiple connection capabilities allow CVS Health to break away from the one-size-fits-all approach to chronic condition management. For example, most diabetes management programs today focus on just two modes of support -- monitoring blood glucose and managing issues of lifestyle and comorbidities – mostly through virtual reporting and telephone coaching.

Our comprehensive approach to diabetes care for Aetna members and CVS Caremark customers focuses on three additional areas for a total of five impact areas. In addition to monitoring blood glucose and managing lifestyle issues, we aim to ensure individuals also are receiving the recommended annual health screenings, adhering to medications and taking the right medications to manage their diabetes and any other conditions. Whether an individual is seen by a CVS pharmacist, a care manager, or MinuteClinic nurse practitioner online or in person, each will have an integrated view of the individual’s health needs in these five clinical impact areas. They will all be on the same page regarding medications, test results and care plans. This not only leads to more effective management of diabetes and other chronic conditions but also reduces the frustration patients often experience when care is disconnected and uncoordinated.

Taken together, improved interactions and data-fueled insights paint a picture of complete end-to-end condition management with many options for engagement and support. That is what is needed to improve our standard of care for diabetes and other chronic conditions. With integrated care teams, digital and virtual solutions and data technologies, we can stay connected to more people, on their terms and comfort levels, and help them to more successfully manage their chronic health conditions today and well into the future.

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A new homecoming for health care

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Pain management, antibiotics for an infection, hydration and nutrition support — these are just a few examples of why a person might require infusion therapy. 

For patients like Brittany Detrick, 27, a paralyzed gastrointestinal tract requires her to use a feeding tube along with a port in her chest to receive IV antibiotics and hydration, making infusions just another part of her daily routine. 

“I'm hooked up to a pump all the time,” she says. “I have IVs and tube feedings in a backpack that I wear, and it’s kind of my normal life.” 

Now, in response to the pandemic, Coram, CVS Health’s infusion care business, is expanding its mission to care for more infusion patients like Brittany at home – all while helping hospitals prioritize and maintain bed capacity for those infected with COVID-19.

Coram heeded the call for help early on. “As coronavirus struck, we were hearing from our hospital partners that they were concerned about freeing up hospital beds so that they could care for the many patients who would contract COVID-19,” says Tricia Lacavich, RN BSN, Coram Vice President and General Manager. We asked, ‘How can we help?’”

The approach they took is threefold, Lacavich says: First, get patients out of the hospital and home safely. Second, prevent future patients from being admitted to the hospital unnecessarily. Third, she says, make sure that outpatients who receive long-term infusions in the hospital get those treatments at home. 

Much of this is what Coram normally does, but COVID-19 created a new layer of urgency to get and keep patients out of the hospital in a safe and timely way, Lacavich says. That meant more home visits from nurses and increased support for virtual visits through telehealth.

Today, Coram is scaling its mission nationwide, starting in markets with high rates of COVID-19 cases. Its model of home-based health care may become more common even after the pandemic, as more people learn what can be managed at home. 

Brittany credits Coram's care for keeping her out of the hospital even when she contracted COVID-19 herself – experiencing mild symptoms and recovering at home, instead. That was crucial, because of her compromised immune system. 

“When someone like me goes into the hospital, there’s not just fear of catching COVID, but fear of catching everything else there, too,” she says. “Being able to stay home is always the best thing I can possibly do.”

Tricia Lacavich
When Coronavirus happened, Tricia Lacavich, Coram Vice President and General Manager asked, “How can we help?”
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