Home care dietitians improve tube feeding patient outcomes

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Coram’s research highlights the critical role home care dietitians play in decreasing tube feeding intolerance and improving nutrition outcomes

Home-based health care continues to gain traction as an option for people living with a variety of chronic conditions. In fact, home infusion care can be a safe and cost-effective treatment alternative when compared to the same care provided in an in-patient or hospital setting. Coram CVS Specialty Infusion Services (Coram) is leading the way in home infusion care and parenteral (intravenous) and enteral (tube feeding) nutrition with a team of skilled home care Registered Dietitians, who can address nutrition intolerance, assess adequacy of hydration in feeding regimens, and address associated patient questions.

To advance the knowledge of health care practitioners and improve care for patients, Coram is actively involved in home nutrition care research. This research includes evaluating the impact of transitioning nutrition care from the hospital to the home and the benefits of home-based parenteral and enteral nutrition in certain populations.

Coram dietitians Nicki Bray, MS, RD, LDN; Sarah Allen MS, RD, LDN; and Caitlin Wendecker, RD, CNSC, recently conducted research to evaluate the efficacy of home care dietitian recommendations in addressing reported enteral nutrition intolerances, and the critical role home care dietitians play in creating interventions to improve nutrition outcomes. They shared their findings in their abstract, Home Care Dietitian Intervention Effectiveness to Reported Intolerance.

When patients are sent home from the hospital with little additional support and potentially poor tolerance to tube feedings, their outlook and compliance with their home tube feeding regimen may be impacted. Identifying and effectively addressing intolerance will increase a patient’s compliance and improve nutrition outcomes.

Coram conducted a retrospective review of adult patient records that reported intolerance within 48 hours of start of care. This retrospective review supported the important role of home care dietitians in evaluating and managing tube feeding intolerance, with dietitian interventions effective for 72% of patients by day 30 and 91% of patients by day 60. Without appropriate intervention by a dietitian, patients may be at risk for poor nutrition outcomes such as gastrointestinal distress, malnutrition, weight loss or underfeeding.

Home enteral nutrition patients are also at increased risk for dehydration due to inadequate fluid administration, and Coram dietitians explored this in an additional abstract, Adequacy of Flushing Orders in Home Enteral Nutrition Patients, by Katrina Sesler, MS, RD, CNSC; Rebecca Caldwell, MS, RD, LDN; and Laura Kashtan, RD, which reviewed patients’ water flushing orders at discharge from facility to home care. From a retrospective chart review of adult patients, Coram dietitians noted that discharge flush orders are missing or are inadequate for a considerable number of home enteral nutrition patients. Individualized recommendations and early patient contact by a dietitian may be important to prevent dehydration in these patients.

Early intervention by home care dietitians can help patients address tube feeding intolerance, assess hydration levels, improve therapy compliance and address patient questions and concerns. This support can help improve patient outcomes, potentially preventing hospital readmission at a time when hospital resources are stretched due to the increasing rate of COVID-19 admissions. Measures to help patients remain home and avoid hospital readmission are always valuable, but today they are critical.

A practitioner, using a tablet computer, assists a patient with tube feeding therapy.
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CVS Health works with UCLA Health and other hospitals to help create bed capacity

CVS Health works with UCLA Health and other hospitals to help create bed capacity
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Coram, the company’s infusion care business, will help transition eligible IV-therapy patients out of the hospital and other care settings by providing in-home nursing

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is working with hospitals and providers, including UCLA Health, to support solutions for creating much-needed hospital bed capacity during the pandemic. Coram has enhanced its existing home infusion capacity and capabilities to help transition eligible IV-therapy patients to home-based care. This includes enhanced clinical monitoring, virtual support and oversight through telehealth to complement existing personalized in-home support, coordination and administration of medications and supplies. In California, the state is working to add 50,000 hospital beds to make enough room for anticipated COVID-19 patients.https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/06/governor-newsom-announces-progress-in-expanding-hospital-capacity-to-fight-coming-surge-in-covid-19-cases/

“We’re able to create a clinically appropriate and safe in-home care setting, so hospitals can focus on treating those impacted by COVID-19,” said Sree Chaguturu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty. “Amid this unprecedented public health challenge, home can be the safest place for patients recovering from a range of illnesses and can also help minimize their risk of contracting COVID-19.”

Coram is working with UCLA Health to identify and begin transitioning stable patients to home-based nursing care. Patients with a range of conditions that may require infusion therapy, including hydration and nutritional support, anti-infectives and/or specialty medications for chronic condition management, will be considered. Once home, Coram’s specialized nurses will provide and coordinate a range of care, including daily visits and monitoring, medication administration, IV catheter line care, lab draws and educational support via telehealth. Coram is scaling this approach nationwide in other markets with high rates of COVID-19 cases, and working with home health agencies to enable care for patients with high acuity needs that may require additional clinical oversight and monitoring.

“Unprecedented challenges require innovative thinking and partnership as well as swift action,” said Prem Shah, Pharm.D., Executive Vice President of CVS Specialty and Product Innovation. “We’re deploying our clinical teams where the need is greatest, and our Coram nurses are doing an incredible job to help alleviate pressure on hospital capacity in some of the hardest-hit areas, including Los Angeles.” 

More information on the steps that CVS Health is taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic is available at the company’s frequently updated COVID-19 resource center.

About CVS Health

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

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

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Why Building Trust is Key to Delivering Crucial Care to Pharmacy Patients

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CVS Health pharmacists are often called on to employ not only clinical services, but a fair amount of detective work as well. Patients often report that their diet, exercise, and medications are all in check, but if they’re not experiencing results to match, then it’s time to dig a little deeper.

Elderly or infirm patients can pose special challenges: They can be mistrustful of medical professionals, stuck in old habits, and might not even be physically able to visit their local CVS for prescription recommendations and tests. Often, all the pharmacist has to go on is phone consultations and lab results. And yet, often that’s enough to produce life-changing results.

Pharmacist Angela Stigliano realizes that building trust with patients is a necessary part of the job. She’s a clinical pharmacist for CVS Health’s Medication Therapy Management (MTM) service, and provides care to members over the phone or via video chat.

She shared a recent success story about a patient with diabetes that demonstrates why trust is so important. The percentage of Americans 65 and older with diabetes is high, at about 25.2 percent or 12.0 million seniors (diagnosed and undiagnosed).https://www.diabetes.org/resources/statistics/statistics-about-diabetes It is a disease that can be well-controlled with diet and lifestyle changes — but they’re not always easy to make and adhere to without a helping hand.

Asking the Right Questions to Get a Diabetes Patient Back on Track

In March 2018 Stigliano began working with Vicki, a woman in her sixties who reported having a stroke that had left her with mild physical impairments. Though she had a long history with diabetes and high cholesterol, her doctors were confident that she would make a full recovery.

In their initial phone call, Vicki insisted that she followed a strict diet and was very mobile, but given the precarious state of her health, that “didn’t make sense,” says Stigliano: She was gaining weight, her A1C was unstable, and she wasn’t taking her cholesterol medication as prescribed. These factors put her at risk not only for another stroke, but heart disease as well.

Through a series of thirty-minute phone calls every few months, Stigliano fostered a friendly relationship with Vicki.

“I would use phrasing like ‘Tell me about your diet these days,’ instead of saying, ‘Have you been dieting?’ This allowed her to tell me about her diet without the feeling I was searching for a ‘correct answer,’” she says. “It can be difficult to be forthcoming with a stranger about a sensitive topic like being overweight or unable to walk and care for yourself properly.”

These days, there’s a lot of confusion about what a “healthy diet” actually means. Vicki reported trying a keto diet, and skipping meals, both unwise choices for a diabetic.

“Purposely not eating enough can be just as unhealthy as eating fast food every day. Not having enough range in your diet can also become unhealthy as well,” says Stigliano. She recommends the easy-to-follow MyPlate tactic to patients like Vicki. “You’re not telling them what to eat and what not to eat, but to focus more on portion sizes; to look at their diet and their plate a little bit differently.”

A CVS Health clinical pharmacist shares a recent diabetes patient success story that demonstrates the importance of relationship-building in her work.
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After several months, Stigliano was pleased to hear that Vicki had begun to be more honest with herself and her medical team. She compromised with her prescriber, and was put on a low-intensity statin three times a week. And, as Stigliano had gently suggested over the course of their interactions, she began a low-carb, high-protein diet, and increased her physical activity.

All of these changes started to pay off. Vicki’s A1C had been steadily improving due to her adjusting her insulin, but after taking the initiative to make lifestyle changes, she had lost approximately twenty-five pounds, reduced her A1C to consistent readings at or around 7 percent, and mentioned that her LDL cholesterol had come down by 100 points on her latest lab test. And she felt positive, healthy, and empowered.

“When we first started talking, Vicki was not in good spirits,” says Stigliano. “She was very upset about her stroke, and really down, very defeatist. But, after Vicki began to take control of her health, Stigliano says, “It sounded like I was speaking to a whole different person. She was excited to tell me about her lifestyle, the change in her as person. She ended our most recent phone call by saying, ‘I’ll talk to you soon. I need someone to stay on top of me!’”

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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Supporting Our Patients with Chronic Disease

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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 PBM Solutions Blunted the Impact of Drug Price Inflation, Helped Reduce Member Cost, and Improved Medication Adherence in 2018

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Over the past three years, CVS Caremark delivered $141B in prescription drug savings along with $18.3B in savings in avoided medical costs due to improved adherence

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced that, in 2018, the company's pharmacy benefit management (PBM) solutions blunted the impact of drug price inflation achieving a negative -4.2 percent price growth for non-specialty drugs and a 1.7 percent price growth for specialty drugs. Furthermore, 44 percent of CVS Caremark's commercial PBM clients saw their net prescription drug prices decline from 2017 to 2018. In addition, in 2018, CVS Caremark's focus on drug affordability, simplifying prescription management and applying interventions to improve medication adherence have helped increase the percentage of optimally adherent members in key chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression, which can result in reductions of nearly $2,000 in the overall cost of care per member.

"Over the last three years, even as drug prices have increased by 25 percent, CVS Caremark has helped our clients save more than $141 billion by blunting drug price inflation, prioritizing the use of effective, lower-cost drugs and reducing the member's out-of-pocket spend," said Derica Rice, president, CVS Caremark, the PBM business of CVS Health. "Moreover, our focused adherence efforts have helped more members take their drugs as prescribed, which we estimate has saved our clients an additional $18.3 billion in avoided medical costs since 2016."

Impact of Formulary Management

Managed formularies enable CVS Caremark to take advantage of market competition on behalf of its PBM clients and promote the use of effective, lower cost drugs. In fact, in 2018, clients that adopted the managed formularies offered by the Company saw savings of nearly 14 percent per 30-day prescription, even as drug price inflation, while slightly moderated, grew four times faster than overall inflation.

Managing Overall Spend for Diabetes and Making Insulin More Affordable

Rising costs for the treatment of diabetes continue to challenge payors and patients, but strategic management of the antidiabetic category helped CVS Caremark control overall spend. In 2018, trend for antidiabetic drugs was negative -1.7 percent, despite increasing utilization and brand price inflation of 5.6 percent.

Formulary management strategies also played a key role in helping keep insulin costs affordable for payors and consumers. In 2017, CVS Caremark led the market in taking steps to blunt the impact of branded insulin price increases by making the less expensive long-acting insulin Basaglar, the preferred drug on the formulary. This formulary change resulted in member out-of-pocket costs declining by nine percent, improved A1C levels, and savings for payors.

Improving Medication Adherence and Reducing Consumers Out-of-Pocket Costs

Despite the growth of high deductible plan designs, CVS Caremark's programs and solutions helped reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers for the sixth straight year. In fact, two out of every three CVS Caremark members who used their prescription benefit in 2018 spent less than $100 on their prescriptions and more than 85 percent spent less than $300. In addition, although medical costs have grown 14 percent since 2013, over that time period CVS Caremark members paid 8.4 percent less for a 30 day prescription.

Containing Ever Increasing Costs for Specialty Drugs

The utilization and share of gross cost for specialty drugs continues to grow -- reaching 45 percent of total pharmacy spend in 2018, as compared to 42 percent in 2017 -- despite comprising only one percent of prescription claims overall. In 2018, although manufacturer-driven price inflation for specialty drugs measured 7.6 percent, CVS Caremark was able to keep specialty drug price growth at just 1.7 percent for clients. This was achieved through a tightly managed approach including effective formulary strategies, indication- and outcomes-based contracting, and utilization management to guide safe and appropriate use for patients dealing with complex and often debilitating conditions.

Prescription drug trend is the measure of growth in prescription spending per member per month. Trend calculations take into account the effects of drug price, drug utilization, and the mix of branded versus generic drugs as well as the positive effect of negotiated discounts and rebates on overall trend. The 2018 trend performance is based on a cohort of CVS Health commercial PBM clients employers and health plans.

To learn more about the CVS Caremark 2018 drug trend.

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 more than 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 92 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. 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. This 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:

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

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Pharmacy Launches Same-Day, On-Demand Rx Delivery Nationwide

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6,000 locations now offer faster same-day pharmacy and expanded front-store delivery

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 4, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced that it is now offering prescription delivery within hours in addition to their 1-2 day prescription delivery service available nationwide. The service, delivered by Shipt, a leading same-day delivery marketplace, is available at 6,000 CVS Pharmacy locations across the country, giving patients a faster and even more convenient way to get their medications.

"A year ago CVS Pharmacy redefined convenience for customers by introducing prescription delivery nationwide in order to extend the connection that our trusted, local pharmacists provide to their customers at our nearly 10,000 locations around the country," said Kevin Hourican, President of CVS Pharmacy. "Today we've taken another step forward by expanding same-day delivery nationwide and enhancing the experience with our On-Demand delivery service."

Through CVS Pharmacy's newest delivery offering, the majority of CVS Pharmacy stores across the country are able to offer same-day delivery of eligible prescriptions. When a medication has been filled and is ready for pickup, patients can opt to have their medications delivered within hours. They simply have to select On-Demand prescription delivery service via the CVS Pharmacy app, through SMS text, or by calling their local CVS Pharmacy. The delivery service charge is $7.99 and the packages will be delivered by Shipt.

Along with eligible prescriptions, thousands of the most popular health and household items carried by CVS Pharmacy, including cold and flu remedies, allergy medications, pain relief, first aid, digestive health, vitamins, baby, personal and feminine care products, can be added to delivery orders.

Patients who don't need their medications as quickly, or who are looking for a lower cost delivery option, can select 1-2 day delivery which is available from CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide. The fee for 1-2 day delivery is $4.99.

CVS Pharmacy is committed to providing innovative service offerings to ensure that its patients get the medications and store essentials they need when and where they need them and at prices they can afford and will continue to enhance and refine its delivery service in the months to come. For more information about CVS Pharmacy's convenient delivery options, please visit: www.cvs.com/delivery.

About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 9,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS Pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS Pharmacy and CVS Health is available at www.cvshealth.com.

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Erin Pensa
CVS Pharmacy
Erin.Pensa@CVSHealth.com
401-770-4786

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CVS Health's Accordant Awarded NCQA Accreditation for Case Management

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Affirms company's commitment to providing high quality, patient-centered care to help improve health outcomes and lower costs

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Accordant, a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company, announced today that it has received Case Management Accreditation from NCQA for three years. This accreditation is awarded to organizations that demonstrate compliance with the rigorous Case Management Program standards. Accordant's integrated Case Management Program provides services on behalf of health plans, employers and third party administrators to members with complex and chronic diseases. This is the second consecutive three-year NCQA Case Management accreditation for Accordant.

"At Accordant, we are pleased to receive this important accreditation from NCQA, which further demonstrates our focus on providing complete patient care management and support to our members living with complex and hard-to-manage conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ALS, inflammatory bowel disease and certain cancers," said, Ahmed Hassan, Vice President and General Manager of Accordant. "For more than 20 years, we have been committed to providing highly individualized support for our members to help them stay on track with their care, avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and medical costs, and improve overall health outcomes."

Accordant has more than 300 specially trained nurses who help to manage the entire patient through proactive outreach, comorbidity and symptom management, emotional and social support and transportation coordination. As part of the Case Management Program, Accordant manages care transitions and identifies and prevents potential problems to help members avoid costly emergency room visits and extended hospital stays.

"Case Management Accreditation moves us closer to measuring quality across population health management initiatives," said Margaret E. O'Kane, President, NCQA. "Not only does it add value to existing quality improvement efforts; it also demonstrates an organization's commitment to the highest degree of improving the quality of their patients' care."

NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations and manages the evolution of HEDIS , the performance measurement tool used by more than 90 percent of the nation's health plans. Developed with input from researchers in the field, the Case Management Program standards are purposely set high to encourage organizations to continuously enhance their quality and help organizations achieve the highest level of performance possible.

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 more than 9,800 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 93 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. CVS Health also serves an estimated 39 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including a rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offering. This 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.

About NCQA

NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA's Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS ) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA's website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make moreinformed health care choices. NCQA can be found online at ncqa.org, on Twitter @ncqa, on Facebook at facebook.com/NCQA.org/ and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.

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

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CVS Health Expands National Partnership with Arthritis Foundation to Become the Exclusive Specialty Pharmacy 'Partner for Better Living'(SM)

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today, in advance of World Arthritis Day on October 12, the expansion of a national partnership with the Arthritis Foundation to help advance arthritis advocacy, research and patient support. As part of the partnership, CVS/specialty, the specialty pharmacy of CVS Health, will be designated an Arthritis Foundation 'Partner for Better Living'(SM) and be its first and only specialty pharmacy partner. The distinction recognizes CVS/specialty's commitment to helping people with arthritis and joint pain, and builds on the longstanding relationship between the two organizations. CVS/pharmacy is currently the exclusive retail drugstore partner of the Arthritis Foundation.

"Our expanded partnership with the Arthritis Foundation will allow us to extend our purpose of helping people on their path to better health by supporting an organization dedicated to advancing education, access to care, advancements in science and community connections for people with arthritis," said Alan Lotvin, MD, executive vice president of specialty pharmacy for CVS/caremark, the pharmacy benefits manager of CVS Health. "CVS/specialty is a different kind of pharmacy with services that offer convenience, care and support for our patients with complex conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, so they have the freedom to focus on every part of their lives, not just their condition."

As an Arthritis Foundation 'Partner for Better Living,' CVS/specialty is helping people with certain forms of arthritis take control of managing their complex condition by supporting them with specialized tools, personalized care and convenient access to medications. In fact, the unique model of CVS/specialty is focused on making it easier for patients with a range of complex conditions to start and stay on their prescriptions.

"We're pleased to expand the important work we're doing with CVS Health as the Arthritis Foundation continues to help people living with arthritis conquer every day battles," said Ann M. Palmer, president and chief executive officer of the Arthritis Foundation."We know that access to information and treatment is crucial for people living with arthritis, and with CVS/specialty as a 'Partner for Better Living,' we are now able to better support the millions of Americans with arthritis, including the 1.5 million with rheumatoid arthritis requiring specialty medicines."

CVS/specialty offers the support of a Care Team comprised of pharmacists and nurses who specialize in chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and insurance specialists who work to find assistance for those with a financial hardship. Patients also have access to personalized specialty infusion care conveniently provided in the home or at an alternative infusion suite. In addition, CVS/specialty simplifies getting started on therapy by offering patients the choice of pickup at their local CVS/pharmacy, or delivery to their home, office or other location. Patients have access to online tools and a free mobile app where they can order refills, track deliveries and get reminders to help them stay on track. For more information about CVS/specialty, visit www.cvsspecialty.com

Since 2014, CVS/pharmacy has been an Arthritis Foundation 'Partner for Better Living' and a one-stop-shop for arthritis-related products, services and resources in-store and online. As part of the partnership, many CVS/pharmacy locations across the country house the Arthritis Solutions Center, which features products and resources to help better support people living with arthritis. By expandingthe national partnership with the Arthritis Foundation, CVS Health can better support the full spectrum of people living with arthritis and joint pain.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 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.

About Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the Champion of Yes. Leading the fight for the arthritis community, the Foundation helps conquer everyday battles through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The Arthritis Foundation's goal is to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life and making each day another stride towards a cure. The Foundation also publishesArthritis Today,the award-winning magazine that reaches 4million readers.

Media Contact:

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

Mary Alfieri
CVS Health
401-770-9811
mary.alfieri@cvshealth.com

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CVS Health Announces Formulary and Therapy Strategy for PCSK9 Inhibitors

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Repatha™ will be the only PCSK9-inhibitor on the CVS/caremark commercial formularies

Provides members with access to high quality drug and helps clients better manage their specialty pharmacy spend

WOONSOCKET, RI – November 23, 2015 – CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that Repatha™ (evolocumab) from Amgen Inc. will be added as the only PCSK9 inhibitor on the CVS/caremark commercial formularies. The decision comes after a thorough evaluation of two new PCSK9 inhibitor therapies, which were approved by the FDA earlier this year.

“CVS Health is committed to providing high-quality medications for our clients and their members at the lowest possible cost. We have determined that choosing a single PCSK9 inhibitor for our commercial formularies allows us to get the best price possible for clients and preserves our commitment to deliver the best care available,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.

Per the company’s standard approach, the CVS/caremark national Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee carefully evaluated both of the currently available PCSK9 inhibitors and determined the drugs to be therapeutically equivalent, a decision that has been corroborated by consultation with board-certified specialists in both cardiology and endocrinology. The P&T Committee is composed of independent, external experts, including clinical pharmacists and physicians, who evaluate the clinical appropriateness of formulary changes on a regular basis.

“We believe patients should have access to the right medication, at the right time and for the right reason. We anticipate that for most members with high cholesterol, statins will remain the standard of care, given long-standing evidence that they prevent heart disease and the fact that they are extremely cost-effective,” Brennan added.

While PCSK9 inhibitors represent a clinical breakthrough for people with very high cholesterol, the CVS/caremark cholesterol management approach starts with statins, the backbone of treatment for millions of American adults who have high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). For the small percentage of patients with high cholesterol who do not achieve their treatment goals with a statin or other alternative therapies, PCSK9 inhibitors may be necessary. CVS/caremark recommends utilization management strategies to clients to ensure appropriate patient access while helping to contain cost.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,900 retail drugstores, more than 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 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, 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.

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CVS Health Research Institute Study Shows 11.4 Percentage Point Improvement in Medication Adherence Among Patients in Specialty Connect™ Pilot

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High cost of specialty drugs makes adherence to therapy more important than ever

WOONSOCKET, R.I., (January 29, 2016) — New research published by the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute showed a significant improvement in adherence to specialty medications for patients enrolled in a pilot study evaluating Specialty Connect™, CVS Health’s innovative specialty prescription services program. New patients enrolled in the pilot were 17.5 percent more likely to pickup their first refill and existing specialty patients had an 11.4 percentage point improvement in adherence, as compared to a control group. The study was published in the most recent issue of the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

“The specialty market is growing rapidly and new high-cost specialty drugs, that were once limited to small patient populations, are now increasingly being indicated to treat many more patients,” said William Shrank, M.D., chief scientific officer and senior vice president, CVS Health. “As new specialty medications are introduced, adherence to therapy will be particularly important to optimize the benefit of these very expensive medications. Specialty Connect, combined with evidence-based benefit design and utilization management strategies, can increase the likelihood that the most appropriate patients receive specialty medications and that, once received, they take them as prescribed.”

CVS Health piloted the Specialty Connect program in 115 CVS Pharmacy stores before launching the program nationwide. Patients enrolled in the pilot could choose to have medications delivered to their home or doctor’s office or opt to pick up their specialty medications at their local CVS Pharmacy, while receiving specialized clinical support from CVS Specialty, the specialty pharmacy of CVS Health. Since the program’s launch, more than 100,000 patients have been served, with more than half choosing to pick up their specialty prescriptions at retail.

Specialty medicines treat complex conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis C. Many of these medications require special handling, storage and administration. In addition, many specialty drugs are only available at select specialty pharmacies to help ensure compliance with required safety and compliance protocols. As a result, patients often have difficulty with the logistics of filling a new prescription for a specialty medication, with as many as one quarter of traditional retail pharmacies unable to fill a specialty prescription without barriers and/or delays. CVS Specialty is the only specialty pharmacy that offers patients a choice of where to get their medicines, either at any CVS Pharmacy location or through mail delivery, which simplifies getting started on a specialty therapy. In addition, the Specialty Care Team provides round-the-clock support and patient care, including symptom management, claims processing and help managing comorbid conditions.

“CVS Specialty is the only specialty pharmacy that integrates rare disease management and coordinated care programs to make it easier for patients to start and stay on complex treatments,” added Alan Lotvin, M.D., president, CVS Specialty and executive vice president, CVS Health. “Since we launched Specialty Connect across all CVS Pharmacy locations, we have seen high rates of adherence, and our specialty patients have reported extremely high satisfaction with their service.”

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,500 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 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, 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@cvscaremark.com

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

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