Chronic Disease

Coram Nurses Help Teen Bike across the Country

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11.07.19
A photo of a teenager at the airport with luggage.
Andrew leaving Boston for his cross-country bike trip.
A photo of a teenager with a nurse, administering an IV infusion.
Coram nurse Melissa Rupert infuses Andrew in Oklahoma City during his trip.

Coram, a CVS specialty business, provides high-quality infusion and tube-feeding care to patients where they live, work and travel. So when 17-year-old Andrew had an opportunity to go on a six-week cycling, cross-country adventure this past summer, his parents knew the Coram nursing team could help.

Andrew has Gaucher disease and receives enzyme replacement home infusions every 2 to 3 weeks. His trip would leave from Massachusetts in June and not return until early August, so he would require infusions along the route. His parents and medical team mapped out the trip and planned for infusions in Oklahoma City and Santa Monica, CA.

Coram nurses worked with Andrew’s primary care team at Boston’s Children’s Hospital to secure connections in the other states who would be willing to help. He needed an in-state physician to write the nursing orders, and a Coram nurse to meet him at a hotel for the infusion. The Coram Oklahoma City and Los Angeles branches ensured Andrew received the specialized care he needed.

Gaucher disease is a rare genetic enzyme deficiency disorder that affects 10,000 to 20,000 Americans, and can largely be controlled with enzyme replacement. Patients experience anemia, low platelet counts, severely enlarged liver and spleen, and bone disease.

Coram’s Vast Nurse Network

“The benefit of working with Coram is that we have more than 38 years of experience providing infusion services to patients,” said Julie Scaramuzzi, Nurse Manager, Infusion. “We meet patients where they are, and Coram has 73 ambulatory infusion suites across the country. Our team helps patients prepare the paperwork to bring liquids through airport security, and secure a nurse and location for the treatment,” she said. Coram has more than 2,000 clinicians who provide care to nearly 200,000 patients annually for a range of complex conditions including immune deficiencies, neurological disorders, digestive diseases and serious infections.

Andrew’s mom, Heidi, connected with Coram to pick up the medication near her home, and with the paperwork in order, boarded planes to Oklahoma and California. She met Andrew and the nurses in the hotels, and Andrew successfully received his treatments on the road. He was able to stay with his biking group for the entire trip.

Julie said “Andrew proves that patients who home-infuse are no longer home-bound. Our team works with many patients who travel for business or even just to see family for the holidays. Our network of nurses is vast and we are able to meet patients where they are, when they need their treatment.”

The Accordant Team Approach for Gaucher Patients

In addition to care from Coram clinicians and nurses, Accordant offers support for members with rare conditions, such as Gaucher disease, through targeted interventions designed to meet each patient’s unique needs.

“The specialized care team is composed of registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers, and a medical director – all backed by a medical advisory board,” Ahmed F. Hassan, Vice President and General Manager, Accordant. “These skilled practitioners set mutually agreed-upon health goals with the patient, discuss symptom management, explain proper use of medications, and even deal with resource issues such as lack of transportation to doctors’ appointments or cost of care.”

The more than 30 physicians on Accordant’s medical advisory board are available to the Accordant team to discuss complex situations and offer insights into care approaches that the nurse may use in supporting the patient. And, all of the team’s care is grounded in the latest evidence-based medicine and clinical guidelines.

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

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Managing Diabetes

Our integrated, coordinated care approach

CVS Health is harnessing the power of its unmatched community connections and industry-leading data analytics to help people with diabetes better manage their day-to-day symptoms and lead healthier lives.

Our integrated approach is rooted in early detection and personalized, holistic care management, and offers our patients, customers and members an array of products and services that work seamlessly together, while improving access to care that is more local, more affordable and easier to navigate.

In Our Stores

With locations in 10,000 communities nationwide, our CVS Pharmacy stores are uniquely positioned to help patients manage their chronic conditions such as diabetes in between doctor’s visits. Our pharmacists provide one-on-one trusted counsel to patients daily, reviewing prescriptions to ensure patients are getting the most out of their medicines, while the providers in our more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer screenings to monitor a patient’s vital signs and glucose levels.

We carry a wide variety of diabetes care products in our CVS Pharmacy locations to make it easier for patients to manage their condition.

MinuteClinic providers can identify conditions — including diabetes and hypertension — that a patient may not know about and develop an initial treatment plan with appropriate prescriptions and ongoing monitoring and counseling.

And with our new HealthHub® concept, a new, first-of-its-kind community-based store that offers a broader range of health services, new product categories, digital and on-demand health tools and trusted advice along with expanded capabilities in chronic disease care such as diabetes.

In addition, under our Reduced Rx prescription savings program, patients with diabetes can receive their insulin at a reduced cost at any of the more than 67,000 pharmacies in the CVS Caremark retail network, including our CVS Pharmacy locations.

CVS Pharmacy is partnering with the American Diabetes Association on their November #CountMeIn campaign to highlight the numbers that matter most when it comes to those living with, at risk for and supporting those with diabetes. More information can be found at diabetes.org/CountMeInADA.

For Our Members

We launched our Transform Diabetes Care program in 2017 to help simplify condition management and improve outcomes for members of our CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit manager.

The results so far have been significant: More than 50 percent of enrolled members with uncontrolled diabetes have moved to a controlled status by utilizing the solutions offered by the program, including personalized coaching, monitoring at MinuteClinic and CVS Pharmacy, testing supplies and a pharmacist-led clinical team that reviews blood glucose readings.

Learn more about our Transform Diabetes Care program.

Since launching, the program has expanded to identify members at risk for developing diabetes and related conditions.

Additionally, our Pharmacy Advisor program helps our members with chronic conditions like diabetes do a better job of taking their prescription medications through targeted counseling from pharmacists and monitored pharmacy claims to keep members on track with refills.

In the Community

CVS Health provides philanthropic support across the country to fund prevention efforts as well as education for those at risk for or living with diabetes. 

Through our partnership with the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC), the CVS Health Foundation has provided support to 57 clinics across the country to support expanded services to treat those with diabetes and hypertension.

We also bring free health and wellness screenings directly to local communities through our Project Health events. At these events, participants receive on-the-spot assessments of weight, blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels – tests that can help detect risk for chronic conditions such diabetes.

CVS Health also supports colleagues who volunteer on behalf of organizations associated with diabetes and also provides sponsorships for events. In 2019, CVS Health has provided over $120,000 to support diabetes organizations.

Find out more about the results of our Morning Consult survey on diabetes care.

Patient stories, features and related content

11.04.19

By the Numbers: Improving Diabetes Care

Bottom of the article
11.04.19
A man using diabetic testing equipment.

Diabetes is a costly and complex disease that burdens patients and the broader health care system. Today, more than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes and estimates show that medical costs for people with diabetes are twice as high as for people who don’t have diabetes.https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html

In honor of American Diabetes Month, CVS Health recently partnered with Morning Consult to conduct a survey to better understand how people living with diabetes and the providers who deliver diabetes care are grappling with the disease. We also examined what tools and solutions would be most impactful in improving diabetes care.

Among both people living with diabetes and providers, there is a desire to expand access to care locally, better manage and predict out-of-pocket costs and provide additional lifestyle support.

Expanding Access to Diabetes Care

Managing diabetes can be extremely time-consuming and complicated. Oftentimes, patients must visit different sites of care, facilitate multiple annual exams and communicate with various providers across their care team. The survey revealed that both people living with diabetes and providers believe the health care system could do more to expand access to diabetes care and services. For example:

  • A majority (64 percent) of people living with diabetes are not aware of extended hours for diabetes support, while 61 percent of providers do not offer extended hours.

  • The vast majority of people living with diabetes (89 percent) and providers (98 percent) believe that being able to receive testing and exams for diabetes in a single location would be beneficial.

  • Just 18 percent of diabetes patients see their primary care provider once or more a month, while 37 percent report that they see their primary care provider every two to three months and 35 percent report that they see their provider every four to six months.

This is where CVS Health is making a difference. Today, 71 percent of Americans live within five miles of a CVS retail location. And people come to their pharmacy frequently: Whereas a patient with diabetes might only see his or her physician four to five times a year, they will likely see their pharmacist as many as 18–24 times in the same year.

Through these touchpoints to care, we are expanding access to diabetes care locally. For example, our HealthHUB model provides a new, first-of-its-kind community-based store that offer a broader range of health services, new product categories, digital and on-demand health tools and trusted advice. In these locations, people living with diabetes are able to receive the coordinated care and services they need all within our own four walls.

Addressing Diabetes Costs

Cost is top of mind for both people living with diabetes and providers — and there is uncertainty on how to predict the out-of-pocket costs associated with diabetes management. When asked about managing diabetes, nearly half (47 percent) of providers do not feel they have the resources they need to predict out-of-pocket costs for their patients’ diabetes medications. On the other hand, nearly one-third of patients (32 percent) do not feel they have the resources they need to predict their own out-of-pocket costs.

CVS Health is working to expand visibility into drug cost information across multiple points of care. Through our real-time benefits program, we’re providing tools to doctors so they can see what a medicine is going to cost, and recommend lower-cost, clinically appropriate options to the patient. We’ve also pioneered digital tools, including the Rx Savings Finder, which helps our retail pharmacists find patients savings when they do reach the pharmacy counter.

Improving Disease and Lifestyle Management

People living with diabetes and providers would benefit from enhanced lifestyle support to better manage the disease, including nutritional counseling and access to public transportation. For example:

  • People living with diabetes (58 percent) and providers (80 percent) both report they are likely to utilize nutritional counseling services to help manage their diabetes.

  • Access to public transportation is seen as a barrier among both patients and providers. For example, people living with diabetes (27 percent) and providers (29 percent) rank access to public transportation as poor in their community.

CVS Health offers programs to provide people living with diabetes with personalized support when and where they need it — whether it be in the community, in the home or in the palm of their hand.

For example, our Transform Diabetes Care includes personalized pharmacist counseling and the support of a diabetes coach to help ensure members stay adherent to their care plans. Additionally, through our Pharmacy Advisor program, our members can get one-on-one counseling from pharmacists either in-person at a CVS pharmacy location, or through our URAC-accredited call center.

To learn more about our enterprise-wide approach to diabetes management and care, visit our Managing Diabetes with CVS Health page.

To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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CVS Kidney Care

A PDF representing one patient’s CVS Kidney Care journey.

A Better Patient Experience – Click on the image above to learn how CVS Kidney Care aims to reshape kidney disease care by providing total support at every step of the patient journey. Learn more about CVS Kidney Care services on our Payor Solutions site.
 

Kidney disease is one of the most challenging and undermanaged conditions in health care today. CVS Health is working to help patients better manage chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) through the launch of a new company, CVS Kidney Care. Offering a simpler, more patient-centric approach, our CKD management program aims to educate patients on their condition and available treatment options — including home dialysis and transplant — with the goal of improving survival rates and quality of life, while lowering overall health care costs associated with these conditions.

Throughout the past several months, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also been focused on improving care, costs and outcomes for this population. We applaud this initiative.

Earlier Identification and Ongoing Interventions

Chronic kidney disease is a “silent killer”: 43 percent of those with severely reduced kidney function are not aware they have CKD.United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2018. Current care is largely focused on very late-stage disease (often after kidney failure). For many patients, this means that the window for planning and choosing their preferred treatment option is closed. Because of the time sensitivity for receiving treatment, most patients are referred to in-center hemodialysis—a therapy associated with high hospitalization rates, unacceptably high death rates, and overall poor quality of life for patients.United States Renal Data System. 2018 USRDS annual data report: Epidemiology of kidney disease in the United States. National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD, 2018.

Using advanced proprietary analyticsExpected by August 2019., our CKD management program will work with patients to identify and better manage CKD earlier in order to help delay progression of the disease.

Once a diagnosis has been made, CVS Kidney Care, in collaboration with the patient’s provider, will engage with the patient to educate them on their disease and treatment options, while helping them manage their condition in various ways, monitor risk factors and stay on track to meet their health goals.

Should the disease advance toward kidney failure, a pre-emptive kidney transplant is the optimal treatment. If unavailable, CVS Kidney Care will help the patient understand all of their treatment options and guide them toward a treatment that produces the best possible clinical outcomes, as appropriate for the individual.

Improving Outcomes with Home Dialysis

Compared to traditional in-center treatment, home dialysis allows patients to potentially maintain a better quality of life with increased freedom and tangible improvements in clinical outcomes due to receiving longer, more frequent treatment sessions.Research has shown that longer hemodialysis treatments conducted regularly can lead to better outcomes for patients.Young, Bessie A et al. How to overcome barriers and establish a successful home HD program. Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology : CJASN vol. 7,12 (2012): 2023-32. doi:10.2215/CJN.07080712Culleton BF, Walsh M, Klarenbach SW, et al. Effect of frequent nocturnal hemodialysis vs conventional hemodialysis on left ventricular mass and quality of life: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2007;298(11): 1291-1299.Kotanko P, Garg AX, Depner T, et al. Effects of frequent hemodialysis on blood pressure: Results from the randomized frequent hemodialysis network trials. Hemodialysis Int. 2015:19(3): 386-401Nesrallah GE, Lindsay RM, Cuerden MS, et al. Intensive hemodialysis associates with improved survival compared with conventional hemodialysis. J Am Soc Nephrol 2012; 23 (4): 696-705.

As part of our future CVS Kidney Care offerings, we are working to launch services to help support the growth of home dialysis.

In preparation for providing home hemodialysis services, we recently launched a clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of HemoCare™ Hemodialysis System (HemoCare), a new home hemodialysis device that seeks to remove barriers to home treatment by providing a simple and safe device for patients and their care partners.

Want to learn more about CVS Kidney Care? Email KidneyCare@CVSHealth.com.

07.17.19

Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties Unveil Winners of National Health Challenge

Top of the article
02.12.19

From Faith-Based Organizations Empowering Healthy Habits to Pop-Up Markets Rebuilding Community Trust: $1.5 Million Awarded to Local Solutions Addressing Social Determinants of Health

HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of an ongoing commitment to supporting community health and wellness, the Aetna Foundation today announced the two grand prize winners of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge (the Challenge). The Mecklenburg County, N.C., Village HeartBEAT program won the $500,000 grand prize from the mid-sized city or county category (population 250,001 600,000) and the Coalition United to Reach Equity (CURE) in Bridgeport, Conn., was awarded the grand prize of $250,000 in the small-sized city or county category (population 65,000 200,000).

The Challenge was launched in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), empowering 50 small-to-mid-sized cities and counties nationwide to make measurable, scalable improvements to public health issues in their local communities. Since its inception, the Challenge awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants and prizes to the 50 participating programs to support their efforts to tackle the most pressing health issues facing their communities. In addition to the two grand prize winners, eight programs were designated as runners up in recognition of their achievements, each receiving prizes ranging from $25,000 - $50,000 to help continue their work.

The awarding of the Challenge prizes, funded by the Aetna Foundation, is part of a $100 million commitment by CVS Health and its affiliates to making community health and wellness central to the company's charge for a better world. The new Building Healthier Communities initiative, which will be funded over five years by CVS Health and the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations, builds upon the outstanding tradition of community investment by CVS Health and Aetna and helps to advance CVS Health's purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

"In order to solve our most pressing public health issues, we have to start at the local level acknowledging that the solutions to our problems are as diverse as the communities facing them," said Karen S. Lynch, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna. "These communities are able to get to the heart of their unique challenges and create impactful programs that we hope can be replicated in other communities nationwide."

Over the course of the Challenge, both winners improved local health outcomes with strong, scalable results:

  • In Mecklenburg County, NC, the African-American population is disproportionately impacted by cardiovascular disease by nearly 20 percent compared to their white counterparts. To combat this, Village HeartBEAT (VHB) activated more than 60 local faith-based organizations to help over 20,000 local residents access health resources to reduce cardiovascular risk. As a result, VHB reduced smoking in the community from 17.4 percent to 13.9 percent and obesity rates from 70 percent to 64.7 percent.
  • Bridgeport (CT) CURE/ East End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) addressed decades of food insecurity and public mistrust through development of a pop-up market in a documented food desert, improving availability of healthy foods, living wage jobs and sparking greater community cohesiveness. Over the past three years, Bridgeport CURE secured more than 53,000 volunteer hours and leveraged strong cross-sector partnerships to overcome major policy obstacles.

"While every community faces unique health issues, we know a lot can be accomplished when cities and counties join forces," said APHA executive director Georges C. Benjamin. "It is our hope that these two programs, along with the rest of the Challenge participants, will inspire others and serve as models of success and progress for communities around the country who face similar health issues."

The first cohort of Challenge participants were chosen out of hundreds of city governments, local municipalities, health departments, educational institutions and other entities that applied to enter the competition. Improvements were measured around at least one of five domains: healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures. The Challenge winners and runners up were selected with assistance from an Advisory Council of public health leaders including elected officials, professors and physicians. RAND Corporation was tapped to evaluate the improvements in social determinants of health achieved and identify the most promising practices with potential for replication.

"Our winners and runners up have demonstrated the ability of counties to transform the communities they support," said NACo president Greg Cox. "Organizations and leaders at the county level are in a unique position to champion the needs of local residents and join community partners in the effort to improve health outcomes for all residents to make a positive health impact."

Winners

Lead Entity

Program

Program Goal

State Served

Greater Bridgeport Opportunities
Industrialization Center Inc.

Bridgeport Coalition
United to Reach Equity

Increase health equity

Connecticut

Mecklenburg County Health
Department

Village HeartBEAT

Decrease rates of
heart disease

North Carolina

Runners Up

Lead Entity

Program

Program Goal

State Served

Hillsborough County

Garden Steps

Increase access to healthy
foods through enhanced walkability

Florida

City of Miami

Live Healthy Little Havana

Increase health care access

Florida

United Government of
Wyandotte County/Kansas City

The 20/20/20 Movement

Increase walkability

Kansas

Louisville/Jefferson County
Metro Government

West Louisville
Outdoor Recreation
Initiative

Increase mental wellness
and healthy behaviors

Kentucky

Coopers Ferry Partnership

The SMART Initiative

Increase water quality

New Jersey

Chatham County Public
Health Department

Chatham Health
Alliance

Decrease obesity

North Carolina

Waco-McLennan County
Public Health District

The Heart of Texas
Urban Gardening Coalition

Increase access to, and
consumption of, fresh foods

Texas

Danville Pittsylvania County
United Fund

Health Collaborative

Increase healthy living

Virginia

For more information on the winners, visit www.healthiestcities.org and join the conversation at #HealthiestCitiesChallenge.

About the Aetna Foundation

The Aetna Foundation is an independent charitable and philanthropic affiliate of CVS Health (NYSE:CVS). As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who volunteered 670,000 hours in 2018 alone. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.

About the American Public Health Association

APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public's health. Visit us at www.apha.org.

About the National Association of Counties

The National Association of Counties (NACo) unites American's 3,069 county governments. Founded in 1935, NACo brings county officials together to advocate with a collective voice on national policy, exchange ideas and build new leadership skills, pursue transformational county solutions, enrich the public's understanding of county governments and exercise exemplary leadership in public service.

For more information, contact:

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

Katy Frame
703-739-8358
kframe@brgcommunications.com

SOURCE Aetna Foundation

 

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Moriarty Discusses Community Health Innovation at Wall Street Project Economic Summit

Moriarty Discusses Community Health Innovation at Wall Street Project Economic Summit
Bottom of the article
03.14.19

Tom Moriarty, EVP, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer and General Counsel, recently sat down with civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. at the 22nd Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit to highlight how our newly combined company can accelerate the improvement of health care for individuals and families across the country.

Moriarty emphasized how the path to better health and stronger communities can be achieved through local support and targeted engagement. At CVS Health, we know how much human interactions matter. The millions of patients we interact with every day each have unique backgrounds and needs. Every day, we utilize our community footprint to build trust with patients on a personal level.

Addressing Local Barriers to Care

Today, approximately 30 to 40 percent of physician-ordered lab tests aren’t completed – oftentimes as a result of lab and testing facilities not having extended hours and lacking access from public transportation routes. Moriarty emphasized how CVS Health can help patients achieve better health by expanding access to testing and monitoring in the communities where they live and work.

Complementing Primary Care

Due to inadequate access to care, it can be difficult for patients to locate the coordinated care and health services they need to get and stay healthy in between doctor visits. CVS Health serves 10,000 communities nationwide with more than 9,800 retail stores and 1,100 walk-in clinics and we’re pursuing new ways to elevate our retail stores as a local health care destination. 

Through the introduction of HealthHUB® locations at CVS Pharmacy stores in Houston, Texas, we have the opportunity to serve as an extension to primary care. With personalized pharmacy support programs and MinuteClinic services, the HealthHUB pilot is improving care for patients managing chronic conditions with a focus on recommending next best actions and driving medical costs savings.

Moriarty shared several examples of how the HealthHUB pilot will provide meaningful and frequent touchpoints to care. For a patient living with diabetes, we can be there more frequently to provide counsel on lifestyle and dietary needs. In the case of respiratory disease, a respiratory therapist will be on-site to help patients track their conditions and provide them with personalized counsel. These interactions will help coordinate care across a patients’ full care teams.

Improving Health Outcomes and Lowering Costs

About 80 percent of current medical spend is on chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. At the same time, the number of Americans impacted by these conditions continues to grow.

Moriarty shared how the pharmacy can help prevent these conditions and improve population health by serving as a first line of defense in the community. Our newly combined company will deliver a unified strategy aimed at making a measurable impact on the health of communities nationwide. Through our Building Healthier Communities initiative, CVS Health will make significant investments in the areas of managing chronic disease, including the expansion of Project Health to provide more screenings for the social determinants of health that affect personal well-being and the broader community, such as education, housing and access to fresh food.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

Tom Moriarty and Reverend Jesse Jackson shake hands.
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Improving Heart Health among Women

Improving Heart Health among Women
Bottom of the article
02.05.19

Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer among women and accounts for one-third of deaths annually. The widespread and personal impact of the disease underscores the importance of prevention and, for those affected, management of the condition to avoid worsening complications or events.

The American Heart Association reports that nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet many women do not know the personal health numbers that are critical to determining their risk. At CVS Health, we know that care starts at the community level and we’re committed to improving heart health among women by serving as a local and affordable destination for preventive and chronic disease care.

Expanding Access to Screenings

If left untreated, cardiovascular disease can lead to significant and potentially fatal complications. To improve heart health among women nationwide, we are helping individuals understand their risk for heart disease and empowering them to take the next best action for their health.

During February – American Heart Month – MinuteClinic, which is located within 10 miles to 1 in 2 Americans, is providing preventive heart health screenings at no cost. On February 7, 14, 21 and 28, patients can learn the five key personal health numbers that help determine their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. By knowing their heart health numbers, patients are better positioned to manage their heart health through diet, exercise and other lifestyles changes.

Supporting Heart Health Year-Round

Addressing heart disease requires a multifaceted and collaborative approach. At CVS Health, we support heart health research and education as part of our commitment to building healthier communities. We have made a new three-year $15-million pledge to Go Red for Women – the American Heart Association's national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

Additionally, we are encouraging customers to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke by making a $1, $3 or larger donation to the American Heart Association’s national movement, Go Red for Women, at the register at CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide or online in awareness of American Heart Month.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve the quality, outcomes and affordability of chronic disease care, visit our Chronic Disease information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

In the past two years, have you received a heart health screening to learn your five key personal health numbers?

Choices
Woman getting her blood pressure checked at a MinuteClinic.
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CVS Health and IBM Tap Watson to Develop Care Management Solutions for Chronic Disease

Top of the article
07.30.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I. and ARMONK, N.Y., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced they will use predictive analytics and Watson cognitive computing to transform care management services for patients with chronic disease.

The partnership will enable health care practitioners, including those across the CVS Health enterprise, to use Watson to advance care management beyond programs and services typically available today. Watson's cognitive computing capabilities interact in natural language, read and understand vast amounts of information, and continuously learn. The offering would enable health care practitioners to quickly and easily gain insights from an unprecedented mix of health information sources such as medical health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and fitness devices to help individuals stay on track with their care and meet health goals.

The joint CVS Health/IBM Watson Health solution will be optimized for use across a wide range of chronic conditions. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. and represent 86 percent of the nation's $2.9 trillion in annual health spending.[[1],[2]] The resulting offering will be made available to insurers and other entities serving the employer and health plan market and will focus on:

  • Helping to predict individuals at risk for declining health who may benefit from proactive, customized engagement programs;
  • Encouraging patients to adopt safe and healthy behaviors, including adherence to prescribed medicines and healthy lifestyle regimens; and
  • Suggesting appropriate use of cost-effective primary care and out-patient providers.

The partnership brings together IBM's Watson Health Cloud and cognitive computing capabilities with both companies' expertise in predictive analytics and patient engagement. CVS Health also brings strong insights into medication adherence and pharmacy care.

"CVS Health and IBM are both committed to improving health and finding ways to engage individuals in their well-being through the use of information and technology," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, EVP and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. "This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost."

"The capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, when coupled with CVS Health's insights into medication utilization and patient behavior, could prove transformative for the industry," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. "Improving care for people with chronic conditions supports IBM's commitment to make big plays that advance the health and well-being of the global community. Through the recent acquisitions of Phytel, Explorys, and Curam we also bring extraordinary capabilities in patient engagement and population health, enabling us to deliver a powerful solution that supports individuals wherever they are, whenever they need it."

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, developers and partners are building apps and services that harness the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be de-identified, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data, while protecting the privacy and security of individuals.

Learn more about this story at: http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2015/07/how-watson-can-help-tackle-chronic-disease.html

For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson and #ibmwatsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

[1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Health Expenditures. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/health-expenditures.htm
[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d). Chronic Disease and Health Promotion. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/index.htm

Contacts

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
Christine.Cramer@cvshealth.com

Christine Douglass
IBM
(415) 535-4479
cdouglass@us.ibm.com

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SOURCE CVS Health; IBM

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CVS Health Foundation Supports New Program for Alzheimer's Disease Diagnosis, Disclosure and Education

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02.25.16

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --The CVS Health Foundation today announced a $550,000 commitment to the Alzheimer's Association to support expanded provider education and diagnosis resources for individuals living with Alzheimer's disease and caregivers through their local chapters across the United States.

Despite the clear benefits of knowing an Alzheimer's diagnosis, only 45 percent of Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers say their doctor told them they have the disease.

"The CVS Health Foundation is proud to support the Alzheimer's Association in its effort to ensure that more people with Alzheimer's are able to comprehend their diagnosis and receive affordable, high-quality care and support," said Eileen Howard Boone, president of the CVS Health Foundation. "By facilitating care consultation interventions when a diagnosis is provided, the Alzheimer's Association is helping to maximize a patient's quality of life, which directly aligns with our company's purpose of helping people on their path to better health."

Effective health care provider outreach and education are essential for helping people with Alzheimer's disease achieve their best quality of life. According to the Alzheimer's Association's 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, the number of people living with Alzheimer's is expected to rise from over 5 million today to more than 16 million by 2050. In 2015, Alzheimer's and other dementias cost the nation an estimated $226 billion. By 2050, these costs are expected to rise as high as $1.1 trillion.

In addition, the report showed that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer's or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis by their doctor. This low diagnosis percentage remains the reality, despite studies finding several benefits - including allowing for better decision-making, medical care and future planning - in clearly explaining a diagnosis of dementia to the affected patient.

"With the support from the CVS Health Foundation, our local chapters can play an even stronger role in educating health care providers on the importance of diagnosing dementia," said Beth Kallmyer, vice president, constituent services, Alzheimer's Association. "By connecting people with the disease and their caregivers with the community resources they need, we believe patients are better positioned to live their best life with the disease."

Alzheimer's Association Chapters with provider relationships will be invited to apply for grants of between $25,000 and $100,000 to implement a one-year health care provider outreach and education strategy and establish or expand an automatic referral process for education and care consultations, with the goal of increasing the number of people in each chapter with access to care and support programs.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its approximately 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 75 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Contact:

Mary Alfieri
mary.alfieri@cvscaremark.com
401-770-9811

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SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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CVS Health Introduces New "Transform Diabetes Care" Program to Improve Health Outcomes and Lower Overall Health Care Costs

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12.13.16

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today introduced Transform Diabetes Care, a new program available to help the company's pharmacy benefit management (PBM) clients improve the health outcomes of their members, lower pharmacy costs through aggressive trend management and decrease medical costs by improving medication adherence, A1C control and lifestyle management. This program, which will be available in early 2017, emphasizes tailored support for members with diabetes and incorporates both clinical care and cost management solutions, including a single-digit client trend guarantee for medicines in the antidiabetic category. In fact, participating clients could save between $3,000 to $5,000 per year for each member who successfully improves control of their diabetes.

"The Transform Diabetes Care program focuses on three key components to help improve outcomes and reduce overall health care spend in diabetes: medication adherence, A1C control and lifestyle management," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer of CVS Health. "What's unique about this program is that at CVS Health we are able to marshal resources across our enterprise and provide a high level of personalized support and care via multiple touch points. What makes our face-to-face counseling and education at our more than 9,600 pharmacy locations and more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations so effective is that it happens when patients are already thinking about their health."

The Transform Diabetes Care program uses advanced analytics to identify unique improvement opportunities for enrolled members and leverages the company's Health Engagement Engine to enable more effective outreach by identifying and prompting personalized counseling opportunities. Enrolled members will receive highly personalized support and coaching to help improve medication adherence, better track and control A1C levels and support healthy lifestyle behaviors through CVS Health consumer touch points. These interventions will be delivered to enrolled members, at no extra cost, either in person at CVS Pharmacy, or by telephone, and members will also receive free comprehensive diabetes visits at MinuteClinic locations at no out-of-pocket cost, including A1C checks. In addition, members will be offered a connected glucometer, which will share their blood glucose levels with a pharmacist-led team via a health cloud, enabling the team to identify potential issues and intervene with one-on-one coaching. Members also have access to digital tools within the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, such as medication refill reminders and the ability to refill a prescription via two-way text messaging, to help reduce the complexity of daily disease management.

"In 2016 antidiabetic drugs were the leading driver of gross costs for our clients," said Jonathan Roberts, President of CVS Caremark. "The Transform Diabetes Care program will enable us to help our clients manage the unsustainable increases in the cost of diabetes care by maximizing the value and effectiveness of our engagement with patients to improve clinical outcomes, while also employing strategic approaches to actively manage and control costs."

Clients enrolled in the Transform Diabetes Care program will have a year-over-year drug trend guarantee in the single digits for the antidiabetic drug category, which will vary based on the plan population's demographics and current spend profile. In addition, the program has a managed pharmacy network for drugs to treat diabetes, which includes all CVS Pharmacy locations and CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. This will help simplify medication refills, improve coordination of care with the member's primary care providers and help members stay engaged with their therapy and additional clinical services offered by the program.

The Transform Diabetes Care program, the first in a new suite of Transform Care programs focused on managing costly, chronic conditions, expands the suite of diabetes programs and services already provided by CVS Health. Studies have shown that through better lifestyle management, medication adherence and control of A1C, health can improve and medical costs can be significantly reduced. In fact, the CVS Health Pharmacy Advisor Counseling program has shown a nearly 10 percent increase in optimal medication adherence for enrolled members with diabetes.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
christine.cramer@cvshealth.com

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

SOURCE CVS Health

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