Building Lifelong Connections for Children in Foster Care

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Groups of child welfare professionals work as teams.
Groups of Kansas Department for Children and Families' child welfare professionals and other child welfare professionals from agencies across the state work as teams at the Family Finding Boot Camp. Credit: Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal
Kevin Campbell addresses about 100 social workers during an event.
Kevin Campbell, founder of the Center for Family Finding and Youth Connectedness, trains about 100 Kansas social workers during the Family Finding Boot Camp. Credit: Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal

For many of us, the concept of finding family members often involves searching on a genealogy site or signing up for an at-home DNA testing kit. There is an element of fun and intrigue, inspiring individuals to better understand their family roots. For many young children and teens in foster care, however, locating family members isn’t a pastime, but a necessity for daily living. These connections will help them grow and thrive.

Recently, more than 100 child welfare professionals in Kansas participated in the Family Finding Boot Camp, led by child and family welfare expert Kevin Campbell. Aetna Better Health of Kansas, the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF), and Casey Family Programs sponsored the four-day event. As the founder of the Family Finding model, Campbell spoke about key methods and strategies to locate and engage relatives of children currently living in out-of-home care. The goal of Family Finding is to connect each child with a family or a “network” (blood relative or not), so that every child may benefit from the lifelong connections that a family would typically provide.

Healing Children and Families

Over the years of developing Family Finding, Campbell found that most foster children have a large extended family, and if they could connect with five to eight adults who would make a “permanent relational commitment” to the child, it could change outcomes significantly.

“The training is really about how do you heal children who have had such harm done to them? And how do you heal the whole family? Because this kind of generational experience has to stop somewhere.” — Kevin Campbell
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“The training is really about how do you heal children who have had such harm done to them? And how do you heal the whole family? Because this kind of generational experience has to stop somewhere,” said Campbell.

Kellie Hans Reid, foster care coordinator with Aetna Better Health of Kansas, affirmed, “Research shows that traumatic experiences affect children’s health, like metabolic and cardiac health. We also know that we build our lifelong health in childhood. Yet, if we start early enough, there is so much we can do to alleviate the effects of childhood trauma, prevent reoccurrences, and hopefully improve long-term health and disease outcomes.”

Expanding Safety Networks

During the boot camp, Campbell empowered attendees with information on how each of them can help extend the overall safety networks of the children they work with — meaning family, friends or acquaintances that genuinely care about the child and who can serve as a relational resource. Campbell also discussed how to facilitate a community of unconditional love and healing to combat and lower the toxic stress and loneliness these children and their families are experiencing — improving mental and physical health outcomes.

Organized into 27 teams, social welfare professionals collaborated throughout the week to apply the Family Finding model to their current cases. Based on a series of criteria, they prioritized the children who were their biggest worry. By the end of the training, participants reported locating an average of 19 contacts per child, for a total of 500 contacts across all teams combined — this was an increase of 84 percent from the beginning of the week. This number broke the American record for the average number of relatives identified in a Family Finding Boot Camp, which typically averages 14 connections per child.

Key Takeaways

Attendees expressed how the boot camp training had an immediate impact on their practice with families and their individual outlook. Sample words used to describe experiences included: hopeful, moved, excited, inspired, connected, empowered, optimistic, transformative, motivated, challenged, refreshed, and appreciative, among others.

Looking to the Future

“This work has huge implications for connection, healing, improved health outcomes and combating loneliness in Kansas and beyond, potentially reducing the reliance on foster homes and congregate care,” said Josh Boynton, a member of the Medicaid Growth team focused on complex populations strategy. 

David Livingston, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas, added, “This week’s Family Finding training represented preliminary efforts to empower local communities to take action and create meaningful changes in the lives of young individuals. As we look ahead to 2020 planning efforts, our goal is to continue investing both significant time and resources to improve the health and wellbeing of children and their families throughout Kansas.”

About Aetna Better Health of Kansas

Aetna Better Health of Kansas believes that members should have the opportunity to be leaders in their care. Aetna Better Health uses a model of care management that empowers members to decide what their health goals are, and then the plan works with them, their families, providers and caregivers to help them achieve their goals. The payoff to our members comes in the form of increased quality of care and quality of life. Aetna Better Health services individuals who qualify for KanCare in the State of Kansas.

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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CVS Health Debuts First HealthHUB Locations to Serve Greater Atlanta Community

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16 HealthHUB locations in CVS Pharmacy stores will help make chronic disease management and overall health and wellness more simple, convenient and affordable

Innovative new store model delivers a differentiated consumer health experience

ATLANTA Individuals and families in Greater Atlanta can now experience health care that is simple, convenient and affordable with the debut of HealthHUB, CVS Health's new store design in 16 CVS Pharmacy locations across the community. During a ribbon-cutting event at the company's HealthHUB location at 687 Johnson Ferry Rd. in Marietta, the community celebrated the new, innovative store format that features a broader range of health care services to help patients better manage chronic conditions; more products and services focused on overall health and wellness; and trusted advice and personalized care, all with the ease of walking into a local CVS Pharmacy.

"We are delivering real change to the health care system," said Alan Lotvin, M.D., Chief Transformation Officer for CVS Health. "Through HealthHUBs, consumers are at the center of an unmatched retail health experience. The HealthHUB products and services are designed specifically with the consumer's health needs, challenges, and goals in mind, so that they can easily receive coordinated, personalized care in a familiar, neighborhood location."

CVS Health began piloting HealthHUB locations last year in Houston, Texas to overwhelming customer satisfaction. The introduction of 16 HealthHUBs in Atlanta is part of the company's strategy to scale the program nationally with plans to have up to 1,500 locations operating throughout the U.S. by the end of 2021.

"Patients deserve the tools and support necessary to manage their chronic conditions and achieve the best possible health outcomes," said U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), who commemorated the dedication of the new stores. "I applaud CVS Health for investing in the health of our state, and for providing an affordable solution for patients' everyday needs."

For many Americans, health care can be difficult to navigate. At a time when chronic disease continues to grow in prevalence and impact in the U.S., patients are also facing complexities and fragmentation when seeking the right care. Today, one in two Americans has at least one chronic illness, with data showing that close to $500 billion of the costs associated with chronic disease are avoidable.http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/TL221_final.pdf What's more, nine out of 10 (91%) patients say they need more help with chronic disease management.https://cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-improving-chronic-disease-care-and-outcomes.pdf The HealthHUB store format was developed to help people manage chronic conditions more conveniently and affordably by improving the overall patient experience and featuring a wide array of health and wellness products, clinical services and expertise.

"Today's health care system has to evolve to provide patients with the coordinated care and tools they need to manage their chronic conditions and easily determine what is best for their health," said Georgia Department of Community Health Commissioner Frank Berry, who attended the dedication of the new stores. "I applaud CVS Health for creating a new front door to health care, and see a significant upside for the people of Atlanta with their access to HealthHUBs."

Among the key features incorporated in a HealthHUB include:

Greater Selection of Health and Wellness Products

  • Shop hundreds of products such as health devices that sync to your mobile phone, aromatherapy, fitness essentials, durable medical equipment, sleep apnea products and more.

More Personalized Support at CVS Pharmacy

  • Education and counseling for patients with chronic conditions, helping to identify their next best action that enables better health outcomes and reduces medical costs.
  • Pharmacist-led diabetes education counseling and smart device coaching for select blood glucose monitors.
  • Smoking cessation plans for patients and caregivers to help patients quit smoking.

Expanded Services at MinuteClinic

  • Services for minor illnesses and injuries, as well as immunizations, wellness and health checks.
  • Screening, treatment and monitoring for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Annual diabetic exam, including retinopathy screening.
  • End-to-end sleep apnea solution, including sleep assessment by an independent third party provider.
  • Suite of services to help manage common health conditions for young adults.
  • Phlebotomy services in conjunction with a MinuteClinic visit.

Access to In-Store Community Programs

  • Wellness rooms for group events such as health screenings, nutritional and lifestyle coaching, and benefits education.
  • Learning table for customers to explore health and wellness apps and shop our expanded assortment of products on CVS.com.

HealthHUB locations will also feature an on-site Care Concierge team responsible for customer engagement, including educating customers about new service offerings, helping them navigate in-store services and events, and connecting them to a team of providers.

"I love the new HealthHUB and my care concierge Shandia," said Anthony Green, a local pastor who frequents the HUB location in Marietta, GA to naturally manage his diabetes, access supplies for his CPAP equipment and partake in community wellness events. "What CVS Health is doing is very innovative, and the investment the company is making in creating a local destination for affordable, quality care has empowered me to improve the health of my mind, body and spirit."

CVS Health has 53 HealthHUB locations operational in five states, including Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. The company plans to bring its HealthHUB store format to 17 states in the first part of 2020 as part of its national expansion.

The HealthHUB locations in Greater Atlanta include:

  • 865 N. Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
  • 800 East West Connector SW, Austell, GA 30106
  • 1950 Buford Highway, Buford, GA 30518
  • 6120 Hickory Flat Highway, Canton, GA 30115
  • 4192 Salem Road, Covington, GA 30016
  • 4895 Post Road, Cumming, GA 30040
  • 3027 Jim Moore Road, Dacula, GA 30019
  • 6031 Fairburn Road, Douglasville, GA 30134
  • 5710 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 33043
  • 2720 Loganville Highway, Loganville, GA 30052
  • 3905 Due West NW Road, Marietta, GA 30064
  • 687 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 33068
  • 2 N. Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough, GA 30253
  • 2305 Highway 34 East, Newnan, GA 30265
  • 5370 Lauren Springs Parkway, Suwanee, GA 30024
  • 1600 Town Lake Parkway, Woodstock, GA 30189

Added Lotvin, "Our company has long focused on ways to bring effective tools, resources and solutions to our communities in order to improve health care for individuals and their families. With HealthHUB, we are taking that commitment to the next level."

Visit our website to learn more about products and services available through our HealthHUB locations. For downloadable photos and videos, visit our HealthHUB media resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care 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 Contact

Joe Goode
401-770-9820
781-799-6048 (cell)
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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CVS Health Debuts HealthHUB Locations to Serve Greater Houston Community

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15 HealthHUB locations in CVS Pharmacy stores will help make chronic disease management and overall health and wellness more simple, convenient and affordable

Innovative new store model delivers a differentiated consumer health experience

HOUSTON Individuals and families in Greater Houston can now experience health care that is simple, convenient and affordable with the debut of HealthHUB, CVS Health's new store design in 15 CVS Pharmacy locations across the community. During a ribbon-cutting event at the company's HealthHUB location at 5402 Westheimer Road in Houston, the community celebrated the new, innovative store format that features a broader range of health care services to help patients better manage chronic conditions; more products and services focused on overall health and wellness; and trusted advice and personalized care, all with the ease of walking into a local CVS Pharmacy.

"Helping people get well and stay well is at the heart of everything we do, and that is the focus of our new HealthHUB stores here in Houston," said Jeffrey Schmidt, Senior Vice President, CVS Pharmacy. "Customers tell us they want local access to convenient, personalized and integrated health care. Our HealthHUB locations do just that helping to elevate the store into a community-based health care destination where consumers can engage people they trust, who are accessible and knowledgeable, to help bring everything together in a better health experience at a lower cost."

CVS Health began piloting HealthHUB locations last year to overwhelming customer satisfaction. The introduction of 15 HealthHUBs in Houston is part of the company's strategy to scale the program nationally with plans to have up to 1,500 locations operating throughout the U.S. by the end of 2021.

"Patients deserve the coordinated care and tools necessary to manage their chronic conditions and easily determine what is best for their health," said State Representative Jim Murphy, who helped to dedicate the new stores. "I applaud CVS Health for creating a new front door to health care, and see a significant upside for the people of Houston seeking access to quality, affordable care under one roof."

For many Americans, health care can be difficult to navigate. At a time when chronic disease continues to grow in prevalence and impact in the U.S., patients are also facing complexities and fragmentation when seeking the right care. Today, one in two Americans has at least one chronic illness, with data showing that close to $500 billion of the costs associated with chronic disease are avoidable.http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/TL221_final.pdf What's more, nine out of 10 (91%) patients say they need more help with chronic disease management.https://cvshealth.com/sites/default/files/cvs-health-improving-chronic-disease-care-and-outcomes.pdf The HealthHUB store format was developed to help people manage chronic conditions more conveniently and affordably by improving the overall patient experience and featuring a wide array of health and wellness products, clinical services and expertise.

"We are delivering real change to the health care system," said Alan Lotvin, M.D., Chief Transformation Officer for CVS Health. "Through HealthHUBs, consumers are at the center of an unmatched retail health experience. The HealthHUB products and services are designed specifically with the consumer's health needs, challenges, and goals in mind, so that they can easily receive coordinated, personalized care in a familiar, neighborhood location."

Among the key features incorporated in a HealthHUB include:

Greater Selection of Health and Wellness Products

  • Shop hundreds of products such as health devices that sync to your mobile phone, aromatherapy, fitness essentials, durable medical equipment, sleep apnea products and more.

More Personalized Support at CVS Pharmacy

  • Education and counseling for patients with chronic conditions, helping to identify their next best action that enables better health outcomes and reduces medical costs.
  • Pharmacist-led diabetes education counseling and smart device coaching for select blood glucose monitors.
  • Smoking cessation plans for patients and caregivers to help patients quit smoking.

Expanded Services at MinuteClinic

  • Services for minor illnesses and injuries, as well as immunizations, wellness and health checks.
  • Screening, treatment and monitoring for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Annual diabetic exam, including retinopathy screening.
  • End-to-end sleep apnea solution, including sleep assessment by an independent third party provider.
  • Suite of services to help manage common health conditions for young adults.
  • Phlebotomy services in conjunction with a MinuteClinic visit.

Access to In-Store Community Programs

  • Wellness rooms for group events such as health screenings, nutritional and lifestyle coaching, and benefits education.
  • Learning table for customers to explore health and wellness apps and shop our expanded assortment of products on CVS.com.

HealthHUB locations will also feature an on-site Care Concierge team responsible for customer engagement, including educating customers about new service offerings, helping them navigate in-store services and events, and connecting them to a team of providers.

"Most of the time, I would run into the CVS Pharmacy when I was sick or just needed a few convenience items," said Anthony Phillips, a disabled military veteran and Houston resident who frequents the HealthHUB location in Spring, TX. "I was quite surprised with all of the health and wellness products, clinical services and support, and community events inside the new store. HealthHUB is a convenient neighborhood destination that helps me get healthy and stay healthy."

CVS Health has 53 HealthHUB locations operational in five states, including Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. The company plans to bring its HealthHUB store format to 17 states in the first part of 2020 as part of its national expansion.

The HealthHUB locations in Greater Houston include:

  • 26265 Northwest Freeway, Cypress, TX 77433
  • 3505 Center St, Deer Park, TX 77536
  • 9101 Hwy. 6 N., Houston, TX 77095
  • 10510 Memorial Dr., Houston, TX 77079
  • 5402 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056
  • 8000 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E, Humble, TX 77396
  • 602 W. Grand Pkwy. S, Katy, TX 77494
  • 5002 W. Main St, League City, TX 77573
  • 2900 Broadway St, Pearland, TX 77581
  • 23865 FM 1314, Porter, TX 77365
  • 2242 Repsdorph Rd, Seabrook, TX 77586
  • 3850 Farm to Market 2920, Spring, TX, 77388
  • 16515 Lexington Blvd, Sugar Land, TX 77479
  • 24028 Kuykendahl Road, Tomball Texas 77375
  • 3705 FM 1488, The Woodlands, TX 77384

Added Schmidt, "Our company has long focused on ways to bring effective tools, resources and solutions to our communities in order to improve health care for individuals and their families. With HealthHUB, we are taking that commitment to the next level."

Visit our website to learn more about products and services available through our HealthHUB locations. For downloadable photos and videos, visit our HealthHUB media resource center.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has approximately 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 102 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care 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 Contact

Joe Goode
401-770-9820
Joseph.Goode@CVSHealth.com

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The Importance of Bringing Diabetes Care into the Community

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This article was written by Dr. Dan Knecht, Vice President of Health Strategy & Innovation at CVS Health.

1.5 million: That’s the number of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes each year. 327 billion: That was the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2017, according to the American Diabetes Association.

These are big numbers, but they don’t tell the whole story. In addition to my day job as Vice President of Health Strategy and Innovation at CVS Health, I practice as a physician at Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York City. During my weekend rotations, I see firsthand the very real and negative impacts of uncontrolled diabetes on my patients. Diabetes can cause vision loss, kidney failure and neuropathic pain, in addition to accelerating and worsening cardiovascular disease.

Thankfully, the news is not all bad. As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes rises, so are the resources and treatment options available to them.

CVS Health recently partnered with Morning Consult to better understand the needs of people living with diabetes and the providers who deliver diabetes care. What we heard from patients and doctors is a desire to:

  • Expand access to local care
  • Better manage and predict out-of-pocket costs
  • Provide additional lifestyle support in the form of nutrition, exercise and social services

In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, I sat down with fellow diabetes experts Dr. Steve Edelman, M.D., founder and director of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, and Joy Pape, R.N., a nationally known family nurse practitioner and certified diabetes educator, to discuss how we can address some of these needs through real action.

Watch our full CVS Health Live discussion above.

Read Dr. Knecht’s full article on LinkedIn.

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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Supporting Our Patients with Chronic Disease

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A doctor comforting a female patient.

As we transform the health care experience for all patients, we pay special attention to the needs of patients with chronic diseases who seek care more frequently. We continue to invest in the development of smart and robust solutions to address the health impacts and escalating costs related to chronic disease in the U.S. Our efforts include expanding preventive care and treatment for chronic conditions, improving medication adherence, coordinating care across the healthcare system, engaging patients where they are, and offering healthier product options at our stores.

Personalizing Care Solutions

Our Transform Care programs continue to deliver frequent and highly personalized care to millions of CVS Caremark members who are managing a chronic condition. The programs combine patient-related health and pharmacy data with drug cost management strategies that make care more effective, affordable and easy to navigate.

Transform Diabetes Care, introduced in 2016, has since been adopted by more than 230 CVS Caremark clients, representing 3.4 million members. The program uses advanced analytics to identify members with diabetes and target appropriate interventions. A certified coach develops and helps execute personalized management plans for Type 2 diabetes patients based on their pharmacy data and electronic health record information. The patients use at-home, connected glucometers for glucose readings, which their coach can monitor to offer help as needed. The program also ensures patients receive prescription refill reminders, in-person counseling on diabetes management, and comprehensive diabetes visits at MinuteClinic locations at no out-of-pocket cost.

By 2021, we plan to offer an enhanced diabetes program that combines CVS Health’s local and pharmacy care with Aetna’s care management, targeting, analytics and other capabilities, resulting in a best-in-class diabetes and chronic offering. The enhanced program will derive from the current Transform Diabetes Care model, making for a seamless transition and member experience for clients who wish to adopt the enhanced product. Features of the enhanced product may include:

Aetna’s care managers can provide a single point of contact for members with chronic conditions regardless of which conditions members have. The member’s care manager will also have access to the member’s information from their engagement in the Transform Diabetes Care program and can coach based off of that information.

Creating Comprehensive Programs for Complex Conditions

Another way we are reducing costs and enhancing patient care is through the development of comprehensive programming designed specifically for complex chronic conditions like kidney disease and cancer.

In 2018, we introduced a program to support patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), a disease that affects nearly 700,000 Americans. Taking a staged approach, our program seeks to slow the progression of ESRD and reduce associated hospitalizations. Beginning with early disease identification and patient education, the program will follow with the development of a comprehensive home dialysis program, for both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. Understanding that longer, more frequent hemodialysis treatments often lead to better outcomes, we will initiate a pivotal clinical trial of a new home hemodialysis device in support of a planned U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submission to obtain market clearance.

We will select new program participants by determining who is most at risk for kidney disease and progression to kidney failure, as identified through medical and pharmacy claims data and predictive analytics algorithms, in accordance with HIPAA. Our Accordant Care nurses will engage these individuals to educate them on their risk level, important tests they should consider taking, and the need to see a nephrologist. This team will work with individuals as they progress toward ESRD.

We also work with our health care partners and clients to help manage the cost of oncology care while ensuring access to vital therapies for patients. Our approach promotes evidence-based cancer care, lower-cost but clinically equivalent treatment options, and a holistic patient care model that helps patients adhere to therapy. An important component of our cancer care approach is helping providers stay up-to-date with the latest research and advancements, a challenge in the fast-paced field of oncology.

In 2018, we partnered with the leading oncology organization National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to provide physicians with a tool to access the latest evidence-supported information. Treatment Guidelines from the NCCN are integrated into Novologix, CVS Health’s proprietary technology platform, and serve as the clinical foundation of multi-drug regimen prior authorization (PA) for physicians and patients. Novologix helps drive cost-effective regimen selection by determining treatment coverage that meets treatment plan needs.

To learn about the many other ways we’re supporting our chronic disease patients, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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CVS Health Named Among Most Community-Minded by Points of Light

CVS Health Named Among Most Community-Minded by Points of Light
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Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, has named CVS Health to its Civic 50 list for the third consecutive year.

The Civic 50 honors the most community-minded companies in the United States, showcasing how those companies are moving social impact, civic engagement and community to the center of their business. Honorees are public and private companies with U.S. operations and revenues of $1 billion or more, and are selected based on four dimensions of their U.S. community engagement program: investment, integration, institutionalization and impact.

Guiding our community engagement is our Corporate Social Responsibility framework, outlined in our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. This framework helps us to advance our purpose of helping people on their path to better health while ensuring that we are positively impacting the 10,000 communities we serve.

Among the many ways we’re working to make a difference in those communities is through our Building Healthier Communities initiative. A $100-million commitment funded over five years by CVS Health, with the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation, Building Healthier Communities supports a range of programs and non-profit organizations, including the expansion of free health screenings through our Project Health program and support for partnership organizations uniquely positioned to tackle public health challenges like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

One component of Building Healthier Communities is our Be The First initiative. Launched in 2016 to help deliver the nation's first tobacco-free generation, we’ve reached more than 9 million youth with smoking prevention initiatives, awarded more than $30 million in grants to organizations focused on youth tobacco-use prevention, and helped more than 200 college campuses advocate for, adopt and implement smoke- and tobacco-free policies across the country.

Most recently, Be The First has turned its attention to supporting the expansion of effective programs to help thwart the significant rise in youth e-cigarette use, including a $10 million commitment in 2019 to support youth smoking and e-cigarette prevention strategies and education delivered in classrooms, by clinicians and in communities across the United States.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.
 

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Our Leaders: Meeting our Commitment to Better Health

Our Leaders: Meeting our Commitment to Better Health
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As a front door to health care in 10,000 communities nationwide, CVS Health is committed to creating the path to better health and a better world. In the first half of 2019, our leaders participated in public forums to discuss how that commitment is coming to fruition to build healthier communities and improve the consumer health experience:

  1. Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Health, addressed the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in January to discuss the potential of improving health at the local level through targeted engagement and human interactions. During his address, Merlo announced the company’s new Building Healthier Communities initiative, a five-year, $100 million commitment to improve health at the local level. This initiative provides expanded access to free health screenings, more funding to tackle public health challenges, including tobacco and opioid use and additional investments to address social and environmental factors.
     
  2. Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel of CVS Health, participated in a POLITICO Health Care Innovators event in January to discuss how CVS Health is helping patients with chronic conditions manage their care. In the case of diabetes, Moriarty highlighted how the CVS Health and Aetna combination is uniquely able to address avoidable costs by providing patients with access to the right care locally. According to Moriarty, “We will have the ability to determine who is at risk of developing diabetes and provide them preventative counseling and services.”
     
  3. Karen Lynch, Executive Vice President of CVS Health and President of the Aetna Business Unit, authored an op-ed for U.S. News & World Report in March to discuss the importance of providing communities with the support and flexibility they need to create local solutions that have the power to affect real change and improve public health. Here she outlines the priorities of the second annual U.S. News & World Report Healthiest Communities rankings, underwritten by the Aetna Foundation. This initiative is part of our broader effort to improve community health outcomes – providing insights that inform residents, health care leaders and elected officials about policies and best practices.
     

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.

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Expanding Preventive Care through Project Health

Expanding Preventive Care through Project Health
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Our Project Health campaign connects multicultural communities with large numbers of uninsured or underinsured residents to no-cost comprehensive health assessments that detect early risks for chronic conditions. 

Since its founding in 2006, Project Health has delivered more than $127 million in free health care services to nearly 1.7 million Americans. These screenings are often how an estimated one-third of attendees first become aware of a health concern or condition.

As part of Building Healthier Communities, we are expanding Project Health to reach more underserved and underinsured communities. Our goal is to reach 180 million people in 16 U.S. markets and Puerto Rico, for a projected consumer value of $8.5 million. 

So far in 2019 our progress toward that goal has included the kick-off of Project Health events statewide in California. Events are taking place throughout 2019 in Los Angeles and during select months in San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego. Additionally, we expanded Project Health screenings across the greater Houston, Texas, area during the month of April.

The expansion is also doing more to screen for the social determinants of health, including family, education, housing and access to fresh food. Project Health participants who receive abnormal screenings are referred to treatment and advised on follow-up care. For uninsured and underinsured patients, we provide a directory of low- and no-cost primary care options. We also offer an Individual Health Access Plan with an explanation of screening results, including a comparison to target numbers, and nutrition and fitness suggestions. 

More than 87 percent of patients who attend Project Health events report following up with their primary care physician and were significantly more likely to proactively discuss their blood pressure, BMI and blood sugar levels.

For a full calendar of our Project Health events, please visit cvs.com/projecthealth.

To learn more about the ways we’re positively impacting the communities we serve, through Project Health and our other programs and initiatives, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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We All Have a Role to Play in Safe Medication Disposal

We All Have a Role to Play in Safe Medication Disposal
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This article was authored by Tom Davis, R.Ph., vice president of professional services for CVS Health.

I know too well the dangers of prescription drug misuse and abuse for individuals and families. That’s one reason I am proud of the work we do every day at CVS Health to help combat opioid misuse as part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.

Too often medicines that were once needed go unused and are left in the home where they might be diverted and misused. In fact, medicine cabinets are a major source of diverted prescription opioids,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30849719 which is why it is important for individuals to be aware of the safe medication disposal options available in their communities.

Supporting Medication Disposal Locally

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a good reminder of the importance of disposing of unused and unwanted medications. In addition to select CVS Pharmacy locations serving as sites for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s take-back events across 27 states, CVS Pharmacy is helping to provide options where consumers can conveniently locate and access safe disposal locations year round.

Every day, consumers can dispose of unused or unwanted medicines at CVS Pharmacy stores and community locations across the country. We have installed safe medication disposal units to make disposal options more accessible in more than 1,000 CVS Pharmacy locations and have donated 950 additional units to community locations such as police departments.

Together, these units have collected more than 324 metric tons, or 715,000 pounds, of unused or unwanted medications that might otherwise have been diverted, misused or ended up in our water supply. That amounts to the approximate weight of a 747 jetliner. An additional 900 safe medication disposal units are planned to roll out in CVS Pharmacy stores in states across the country by the end of 2019.

Through our partnership with Google Maps, consumers can quickly search “drug drop off near me” in Google to locate permanent disposal locations in their community, such as a CVS Pharmacy or government buildings.

A Multifaceted Approach to Helping Combat Opioid Misuse

Our safe medication disposal program is just one part of our multi-pronged strategy to help prevent opioid misuse. As one of the 30,000 pharmacists at CVS Health, I am especially passionate about helping people understand the risks of prescription drug misuse. 

One example of how our pharmacists are doing just that is Pharmacists Teach. An innovative prevention education program, Pharmacists Teach connects our pharmacists to local schools to talk with students and parents about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs, using a curriculum developed with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. We have reached nearly 475,000 students and parents nationwide through the program.

In addition, our pharmacists also provide counseling to patients who are new to an opioid prescription. In line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guideline, this counseling educates patients on use, risks, storage and disposal at an important point in time, before they start on their medication.

Reducing the amount of unnecessary opioids prescribed can also help reduce the potential for misuse. To that end, CVS Health is implementing utilization strategies to help.  

  • In line with the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, we have implemented programs to help pharmacy benefit management clients reduce opioid utilization for Caremark members. To date, for clients adopting our utilization management criteria, the number of prescriptions covered for more than a 7-day supply decreased by 71.9 percent. Among those clients, the number of prescriptions covered for a 7-day supply or less is now 94.3 percent.

  • Aetna, a CVS Health business unit, is making progress in its five-year plan to help fight opioid misuse through prevention, intervention and patient support programming. In the first year of its strategy, Aetna has seen an approximately 60 percent increase in the rate of treatment with non-opioid interventions in members with chronic pain. The rate of opioid prescriptions written for seven or more days after an acute procedure decreased about 50 percent.

We’re making real progress in our efforts to help combat the misuse of prescription drugs, through our own programs and by collaborating in the community. And together, we’ll continue our work to help make a difference in building safer, healthier communities.

For more information about our efforts in the fight against opioid abuse, visit Our Commitment to Fight Opioid Abuse 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.

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Increasing Accessibility and Affordability through MinuteClinic

Increasing Accessibility and Affordability through MinuteClinic
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As the largest provider of walk-in clinics in the country, we are continuously innovating to improve the patient experience and expand MinuteClinic services. Today, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within ten miles of a MinuteClinic. Offering evening and weekend hours, and with most services costing less than $100 — as much as 90 percent less than urgent-care centers and hospital emergency departments — millions of patients depend on us for accessible and affordable care.

Expanding Our Reach through Virtual Care

In 2018, we took an important step forward to reach more people with the expert care provided by MinuteClinic. In partnership with telehealth leader Teladoc, we introduced our MinuteClinic Virtual Care platform to provide patients with quality, convenient care via a mobile app or desktop computer.

The service connects patients, ages 2 years and up, to certified health care providers through video-enabled consults to address minor illnesses, injuries and skin conditions. Consults are $59, less than the average in-person doctor visit, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Based on the initial consult, a Video Visit may lead to a subsequent in-person appointment. Unlike most telehealth providers, MinuteClinic can connect patients to a store location, seamlessly extending services within the same system.

By the end of 2018, the MinuteClinic Virtual Care program was available in 18 states and the District of Columbia. We plan to implement the program in every state where telehealth is permitted, and the services will be covered through insurance later this year.

Ensuring Care for Our Veterans

The comprehensive health care services provided by MinuteClinic positions CVS Health to make a meaningful difference in the lives of America’s 19-million veterans. To provide our nation’s heroes with the high-quality, convenient care they deserve, we have invested in a strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) since 2016.

Through the CVS Health-Veterans Administration program, veterans can contact a VA-run triage help line and, when clinically appropriate, have the option to receive care at participating MinuteClinic locations. Additionally, MinuteClinic is able to make the full record of medical services provided available to the VA following the visit. These programs have served more than 3,500 veterans over the last three years.

In 2017, we set a new Corporate Social Responsibility performance target to form partnerships with five VA health care systems by 2022. In 2018, we built upon our footprint of Phoenix, Arizona, and Northern California, launching pilots in Santa Clarita, California, and Corpus Christi, Texas. We were also proud to support the enactment of the VA Mission Act, which enhances veteran access to community care through the VA.

Responding to Community Health Care Needs

We are constantly expanding MinuteClinic offerings to address the specific health care needs of all the communities we serve.

In 2018, we:

  • Increased focus on prevention and management of chronic care, including diabetic retinopathy to prevent disease progression among customers who have diabetes. We also expanded abilities for more in-clinic tests to support the management of chronic disease and medication adherence.

  • Identified 66 MinuteClinic locations near universities and colleges where we will expand services to deliver high quality care to college-aged adults, including expanded sexual and women’s health services and age-appropriate screenings and counseling services.

  • Piloted Flublok®, a new influenza vaccine that does not use eggs, antibiotics or live influenza virus, at 100 MinuteClinic locations. We administered an estimated 4,000 Flublok shots to patients.

  • Expanded our efforts to administer the mainstream flu shot to children, reaching nearly 13,000 toddlers aged 18 to 35 months.

  • Shared vaccination information with 16 state immunization registries to advance public health.

To learn more about the ways we’re positively impacting the communities we serve, through MinuteClinic and beyond, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

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