New maternity program promotes safer pregnancies through personalized care

New maternity program promotes safer pregnancies through personalized care
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Initiative helps address maternal health crisis by informing expectant moms about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin to prevent preeclampsia

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — To help address the unprecedented maternal health crisis affecting American women and support prenatal and postpartum care, Aetna, a CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) company, has launched a new initiative as part of the Aetna Maternity Program.

"Over the past two decades we've seen a steady rise in pregnancy-related deaths, and significant racial and ethnic disparities persist that can lead to poor maternal outcomes," said Troy Brennan, M.D., CVS Health Chief Medical Officer. "The main contributors to this crisis reflect deep-rooted issues within our health care system that we must address, including limited access to care."

Building on a long-standing commitment to connect expectant moms with care that meets their unique needs, this first-of-its-kind initiative is focused specifically on preventing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that is characterized by new-onset hypertension during pregnancy. Preeclampsia can lead to serious maternal complications, including stroke, seizure and organ failure and accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S. Rates of the condition have increased 25 percent in the last ten years alone.https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/low-dose-aspirin-use-for-the-prevention-of-morbidity-and-mortality-from-preeclampsia-preventive-medication

According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. Black women are also being disproportionately affected, with rates of severe maternal morbidity and mortality two to three times that of white women.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits. In turn, they may increase their risk of developing complications that go undetected.

Recent recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and multiple medical professional societies recommend low-dose aspirin for the prevention of preeclampsia for women at high risk for developing the condition. By leveraging data analytics, the Aetna Maternity Program identifies pregnant women with risk factors for developing the condition for individualized outreach and education. Women at high risk are sent a personalized prenatal care kit that contains educational materials along with an 81-mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, a low-cost intervention that may reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to speak with their pregnancy care provider about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin and whether it is right for them. All pregnant members are also mailed information developed by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine on preeclampsia and prevention steps.

"This is an innovative, simple way to promote safer pregnancies by enhancing awareness about an important cause of maternal and infant harm," said Daniel Knecht, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Product for CVS Health. "This initiative is also designed to help close gaps in knowledge by supporting members in conversations with their providers."

Low-dose aspirin as a preventive therapy

While there is no cure for preeclampsia, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been shown to reduce the risk of the condition and some of its complications. Pregnant women with risk factors such as hypertension, Type 1 or 2 diabetes, obesity, and a history of preeclampsia benefit from the use of prenatal aspirin, according to the USPSTF. When this therapy was started in the first trimester in at-risk women, it reduced the incidence of hypertension by 24% and preterm birth by 14%.

To further support women's health, Aetna is exploring additional ways to partner with network physicians and provide this latest guidance.

"CVS Health has delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources such as low-dose aspirin right to members' doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members," noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., head of Women's Health for CVS Health and an OB/GYN.

For more information about the Aetna Maternity Program and the company's efforts to prevent preeclampsia, click here.

About CVS Health

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

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

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Creating safer pregnancies through preeclampsia prevention

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A new, first-of-its-kind initiative designed to prevent the devastating impacts of preeclampsia in pregnant members launched today as part of the Aetna Maternity Program. Building on the enterprise’s long-standing commitment to support expectant mothers on a path to better health, the initiative is focused on preventing this condition, a leading cause of maternal and infant illness and death that accounts for 15 percent of all preterm births in the U.S.https://www.preeclampsia.org/faqs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is one of the only high-income countries where deaths related to pregnancy or childbirth are on the rise. This crisis also disproportionately affects Black women.https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr69/nvsr69_02-508.pdfhttps://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternal-mortality/ And, in recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges, as many expectant moms may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits that could help detect preeclampsia risks.

“Alarmingly, women today are 50 percent more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and Black women are at an even higher risk. We must do more to address this public health crisis and keep moms and babies healthy,” says Daniel Knecht, M.D., CVS Health’s vice president of clinical products. “The goal of this initiative is to help empower our members to have productive discussions with their providers throughout their pregnancy journey.” 

Empowering safer pregnancies

Amidst the COVID-19 landscape, pregnant women may be attending fewer in-person prenatal care visits and in turn be at higher risk for developing complications that go undetected.

Read the infographic

By leveraging Aetna claims data, the program identifies high-risk pregnant members for individualized outreach and subsequently sends them an engaging, personalized prenatal care kit. Each kit contains educational materials about preeclampsia, along with an 81 mg bottle of low-dose aspirin, an intervention that can substantially reduce the risk for developing the condition. Members also receive an appointment reminder card encouraging them to have informed conversations with their obstetrician about the potential benefits of low-dose aspirin.Note: Pregnant women should always talk to their doctor before starting an aspirin regimen.

Although preeclampsia has no cure, taking one low-dose aspirin a day has been proven to be a low-cost, safe medication that can significantly cut the risk of the condition and some of its complications.https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1704559?query=recirc_curatedRelated_article Despite compelling evidence, providers and patients are largely unaware of aspirin’s effectiveness, highlighting the important need for continued education.

“CVS Health is well-positioned to improve both access to and outcomes of maternal and neonatal health care, including for causes of severe maternal morbidity that is disproportionately experienced among minority women,” noted Joanne Armstrong, M.D., CVS Health enterprise head of women’s health and an OB/GYN. “We have delivery channels that can bring critical information and resources, such as low-dose aspirin, right to members’ doorsteps. This outreach is coupled with a care management program featuring highly trained and dedicated nurses to support the personalized needs of pregnant members.”

The initiative is an exciting and simple way that CVS Health and Aetna are empowering safer pregnancies and connecting expectant mothers with preventative care that meets their unique needs. As part of the Aetna Maternity Program’s efforts, all pregnant members will receive a letter and flyer from the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine informing them about preeclampsia and its signs and symptoms.

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CVS Health launches "Time for Care" encouraging individuals to prioritize primary health care needs

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the official launch of Time for Care, a campaign that reinforces the importance of accessing primary health care. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have appropriately focused on staying home to keep themselves and others healthy. Although this kind of physical distancing is still an essential component of preventing the spread of COVID-19, it is critical for people to continue prioritizing health care needs.

"While we remain focused on reducing the spread of COVID-19, we also need to make sure that we're encouraging people to get the care they need to avoid worse health outcomes in the future particularly people with chronic health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease," said Garth Graham, MD, MPH, Vice President, Community Health and Chief Community Health Officer for CVS Health. "The 'Time for Care' campaign drives that message home while reminding everyone of the precautions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Time for Care includes a national television ad, which launches today, along with a microsite, digital content, and Aetna member program components that address concerns for people with chronic health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as specific health issues such as high-risk pregnancies due to preeclampsia. To help inform the campaign's design, Aetna and Morning Consult initiated a national survey among 4,400 Americans to identify barriers to accessing care amid COVID-19.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly 60 percent of Americans said they have canceled or delayed a health care appointment due to concerns about exposure to COVID-19 since the pandemic began

  • Half of Americans have concerns the pandemic has negatively affected their own health or the health of someone in their household

  • Nearly 60 percent of people with chronic conditions are concerned the pandemic has negatively affected their own health or the health of someone in their household

  • Fifty percent of pregnant mothers are not confident their primary care physicians have put the necessary measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 has deeply affected the Black and Hispanic communities across the U.S. where higher rates of chronic conditions are common. CVS Health is actively working to address these racial and ethnic health disparities by expanding community-based testing in underserved areas. More information is available on CVS Health’s COVID-19 testing information and locations page.

Dr. Graham added, "Now is the time to reevaluate both our physical and mental health needs not only for our families, but for ourselves. We all need to find ways to actively and safely reconnect with health care providers and encourage loved ones to do the same."

To learn more, visit aetna.com/timeforcare and follow #TimeForCare to join the conversation.

About CVS Health

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

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

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Aetna Medicare waives out-of-pocket costs for telehealth services

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Aetna, a CVS Health company, will waive out-of-pocket costs for in-network primary care and specialist telehealth visits for all Individual and Group Medicare Advantage plan members through September 30, 2020.

“While seniors are encouraged to stay home to limit their exposure to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean they have to forego medical care during the pandemic,” said Christopher Ciano, President of Aetna Medicare. “It’s important our Medicare members continue getting essential preventive and primary care to keep small problems from becoming big ones. To help with this, Aetna Medicare is continuing to take steps to remove barriers to care and make care more affordable for our members.”

This action is in addition to the cost-share waivers we announced on May 13:

  • Waiving member out-of-pocket costs for all in-network primary care visits, whether done in-office or via telehealth, for any reason, for all Medicare Advantage plan members through September 30, 2020.

  • Extending all member cost-sharing waivers for in-network telehealth visits for outpatient behavioral and mental health counseling services for all Medicare Advantage plan members through September 30, 2020.

We are closely monitoring the progress of the pandemic, federal and state policies and the associated impact on our members, customers and providers. We’ll continue to adjust our policies, as appropriate, to ensure access to care.

About CVS Health

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

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DuPage Medical Group and Aetna team up to expand value-based Medicare Advantage coverage in Chicagoland

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CHICAGO, IL. — Aetna, a CVS Health Company (NYSE: CVS), announced today an agreement to provide members enrolled in Aetna Medicare Advantage plans access to DuPage Medical Group (DMG) providers in DuPage, Kane and Will counties in Illinois.

Under the agreement, 50,000 Aetna Medicare Advantage members now have access to more than 100 DMG locations, along with approximately 250 primary care and 500 specialty care physicians in the Chicagoland area.

“Aetna is committed to improving access to care for our members. Through our collaboration with DuPage Medical Group, one of the largest independent provider groups in the Upper Midwest, thousands of Aetna Medicare Advantage plan members now have access to vital health services from physicians who will help Medicare beneficiaries on their path to better health,” said Gregg Kimmer, Chief Medicare Officer and general manager for Aetna Great Lakes Individual Medicare Advantage plans.

As a proactive leader in providing high value compassionate care to patients, DMG offers a range of outpatient services including diagnostic imaging, colonoscopies, cardiac, orthopedic and additional surgical procedures in both office and ambulatory surgical center settings.

About Aetna

Aetna, a CVS Health business, serves an estimated 34 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers' compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna's customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, visit www.aetna.com and explore how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world.

Aetna Medicare is a HMO, PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Our SNPs also have contracts with State Medicaid programs. Enrollment in our plans depends on contract renewal. Plan features and availability may vary by service area. Participating physicians, hospitals and other health care providers are independent contractors and are neither agents nor employees of Aetna. The availability of any particular provider cannot be guaranteed, and provider network composition is subject to change. The provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. Other physicians/providers are available in our network.

About DuPage Medical Group

DuPage Medical Group (DMG) is the largest independent, multi-specialty physician group in Illinois with more than 750 primary care and specialty care physicians in over 100 suburban Chicago locations. For 20 years, DMG has focused on making healthcare better for its patients and communities by offering high quality, compassionate healthcare. As a physician-led organization, DMG’s physicians work together – utilizing leading-edge technology and innovative treatment options – to ensure that each patient receives accessible and efficient healthcare. For more information, visit www.dupagemedicalgroup.com.

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Shannon Dillon
DillonS@aetna.com
832-344-8245

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Aetna Better Health announces Medicaid contract award in West Virginia

Aetna Better Health announces Medicaid contract award in West Virginia
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CHARLESTON, West Virginia — Aetna Better Health of West Virginia, a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), today announced that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has awarded the company a statewide Medicaid contract through the Mountain Health Trust managed care program. The Mountain Health Trust program serves most Medicaid eligible groups, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), pregnant women, Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the West Virginia Health Bridge Medicaid expansion population, and beginning in early 2021, the West Virginia Children's Health Insurance Program (WVCHIP).

Aetna Better Health has been committed to providing quality care to Medicaid beneficiaries in West Virginia for more than 23 years. Last November the company was awarded the sole contract for the state's new Mountain Health Promise program. Through this program, Aetna Better Health provides physical and behavioral health managed care services on a statewide basis to more than 20,000 children and youth in the foster care system and individuals receiving adoption assistance.

"Providing high-quality health care to our members is critical to our mission. As a company with a long history of caring for West Virginians, we are proud to serve Medicaid beneficiaries in all 55 counties across the state," said Todd White, CEO, Aetna Better Health of West Virginia. "We remain committed to our strong partnerships with the state, our providers, and community-based organizations to deliver on our goal of providing better health outcomes to our valued members."

Aetna Better Health of West Virginia currently serves 160,000 members across the state through the Mountain Health Trust and Mountain Health Promise managed care programs. The new Mountain Health Trust contract term begins July 1, 2020 and runs through June 30, 2021.

About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health business, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2.4 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. For more information, see www.aetnabetterhealth.com.

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Leigh Woodward
860-900-6058
woodwardl1@aetna.com

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Aetna Better Health announces Medicaid STAR Kids contract award in Texas

Aetna Better Health announces Medicaid STAR Kids contract award in Texas
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DALLAS — Aetna Better Health of Texas, a CVS Health company (NYSE: CVS), today announced the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) awarded the company a STAR Kids Medicaid managed care contract in the seven-county Dallas service area. With this new award, Aetna Better Health will now serve the state's STAR Kids beneficiaries across the entire Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex. Aetna Better Health's entry into the Dallas service area complements its ongoing, successful STAR Kids operations in the neighboring six-county Tarrant (Ft. Worth) service area, where it has served STAR Kids beneficiaries since 2016. More broadly, Aetna Better Health of Texas has covered Medicaid beneficiaries in the state since 2006, beginning with the state's separate STAR and CHIP programs in the Bexar and Tarrant service areas, which comprise a total of 14 counties across the state.

"Through our longstanding relationships with the State of Texas, our provider partners and community-based organizations, Aetna Better Health has provided Medicaid beneficiaries in Texas with access to quality care for more than 14 years," said Cheryl Harding, CEO, Aetna Better Health of Texas. "By expanding our footprint into the Dallas service area, we have an opportunity to help an additional 7,500 children and young adults in the STAR Kids program achieve better health outcomes."

STAR Kids is a Texas Medicaid managed care program that serves children and young adults (ages 20 and younger) who have disabilities. The program provides benefits such as prescription drugs, hospital care, primary and specialty care, preventive care, personal-care services, private-duty nursing, and durable medical equipment and supplies. Children and young adults who receive additional services through the Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP) waiver receive those MDCP services through the STAR Kids program.

Aetna Better Health of Texas currently serves 85,000 members across the state through the STAR, CHIP, and STAR Kids Medicaid programs. The STAR Kids expansion into the Dallas service area will bring an additional 7,500 enrollees to Aetna Better Health of Texas. The Dallas service-area STAR Kids contract is expected to become operational September 1, 2020 and runs through at least August 31, 2022.

About Aetna Medicaid

Aetna Medicaid Administrators LLC (Aetna Medicaid), a CVS Health business, has over 30 years of experience managing the care of the most medically vulnerable, using innovative approaches and a local presence in each market to achieve both successful health care results and effective cost outcomes. Aetna Medicaid has particular expertise serving high-need Medicaid members, including those who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. Currently, Aetna Medicaid owns and/or administers Medicaid managed health care plans under the names of Aetna Better Health and other affiliate names. Together, these plans serve approximately 2.4 million people in 16 states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas. For more information, see www.aetnabetterhealth.com.

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Leigh Woodward
818-395-0928
woodwardl1@aetna.com

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Data analytics uncovers opportunities to help members at risk for COVID-19

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Aetna’s clinical and customer service teams are helping to support Medicare and other members who at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and may suffer serious illness from the virus. The enhanced outreach is thanks to a new patient risk tool developed by a cross-functional team of CVS Health clinical and data analytics colleagues.

The unique tool, which utilizes data from published clinical studies, Aetna claims data and publicly available COVID-19 tracking information, helps identify members who live in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases and may be at increased risk for severe infections.

“The COVID-19 pandemic does not impact our membership evenly. Medically complex members living in hotspots are at particularly high risk,” said Daniel Knecht, M.D., Vice President of Health Strategy and Innovation. “This new model, which offers a county-by-county overview, helps us direct our telemedicine, nurse case management, and other patient resources where they’re needed most.” 

A number of pre-existing health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and hypertension, are believed to increase the risk of serious outcomes from contracting COVID-19. By determining which Aetna members live in geographic areas with large numbers of COVID-19 cases and may have higher risk factors, clinical and customer service teams can connect with members by phone and other means to help them understand their personal risks. Case managers also discuss the importance of proper social distancing, good handwashing and other hygiene techniques, as well as potential symptoms of COVID-19.

“This model allows us to produce a daily map that lets us understand what’s happening across the country,” said Gui Woolston, Vice President, Clinical Product Analytics. “By calculating the high-, moderate- and low-risk Medicare, Medicaid and Commercial populations, we can ensure that our outreach is appropriate to the patient’s needs.”

Engagement ranges from phone calls to digital outreach or mailed postcards, all centered on sharing critical prevention strategies as well as helping to assess symptoms, where needed. Case managers and customer service representatives educate members about enhanced benefits that have been put into place during the pandemic. And they connect members with the additional social support and other services they may need to stay well during the pandemic.

“If there’s a second wave of the pandemic, it will be important that we have this infrastructure in place and ready to deploy,” Knecht said, adding that the model could be helpful in other types of public health incidents.

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New Aetna care packages help members recovering from COVID-19 to heal at home

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Being hospitalized with COVID-19 can be an intense and frightening experience, as patients and their families cope with the diagnosis and treatment and focus on the best path to recovery.

As the scope of the coronavirus pandemic continues to expand, Aetna is showing its commitment to help support and protect its members who have been through this experience with a new initiative focused on the healing process.

Aetna has developed Healing Better COVID-19 care packages that arrive to members’ homes within a few days once they are discharged from the hospital with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.Distribution is dependent on recent hospital discharge for COVID-19 diagnosis and supply availability. As of April 15, more than 1,200 kits have been mailed.

“Patients are facing fear and uncertainty upon being discharged from the hospital; it can be difficult to keep track of everything that’s being communicated to them,” said Dr. Daniel Knecht, vice president, Health Strategy and Innovation. “Delivering these care packages directly to members’ doorsteps is an opportunity for us to go beyond what most people would traditionally expect from their health insurer, especially at such a vulnerable time.”

A COVID-19 care package, provided to members through the Aetna Healing Better program.

The packages include CVS Health store brand personal care items and informational content adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on how to best manage symptoms and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Additional resources include access to the Aetna COVID-19 microsite and emotional support, including information on the 24/7 Resources For Living crisis hotline.

“By partnering across the organization, we are pleased to provide in-demand CVS Health products that reflect our commitment to going the extra mile for the people we serve,” said Mike Wier, senior director, Omnichannel Merchandising, CVS Health.

A cross-functional collaboration between Aetna and CVS Health Marketing, Commercial Product, Strategy, and Clinical colleagues led to the creation of the care packages. The group led a proactive approach to reach members by taking into consideration immediate and long-term member needs. The program will continue for a limited time.

“We’re committed to helping members heal better,” said Justin Steinman, vice president, Commercial products, Aetna. “There are still so many unknowns about COVID-19, and we understand that for many people hospitalized with the virus, it’s not uncommon to worry about the road to recovery. The care packages won’t solve everything, but we’re hoping these deliveries help members focus on recovering.”

Aetna’s Healing Better COVID-19 care packages are an extension of the Healing Better program, which helps members who schedule hip or knee replacement surgery to prepare for the surgery and navigate recovery. Resources for this program include proactive outreach from care managers; personalized education on recovery resources such as assisted mobility devices; mental and physical health support resources; pain management options; and a pre-surgery care package.

Visit our COVID-19 resource center to learn more about how CVS Health is responding to the coronavirus.

A COVID-19 care package, provided to members through the Aetna Healing Better program.
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CVS Health announces actions to support health care providers and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

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CVS Health today announced several steps to support Aetna-contracted health providers and their patients in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re committed to helping providers, plan sponsors and our members navigate through this unprecedented time,” said Karen S. Lynch, President, Aetna Business Unit and Executive Vice President, CVS Health. “The actions we’re announcing today are designed to offer relief to our community of health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, allowing them to focus on delivering high-quality patient care.”

Actions include:

  • Commitment to prompt and accurate claim payments. CVS Health and Aetna business continuity plans ensure timely and accurate payment of claims. Provider payments will continue to be made without disruption even while Aetna supports plan sponsors with financial flexibility through this challenging economic environment.

  • Helping hospitals prioritize COVID-19 patients. Aetna changed prior authorization requirements for post-acute care hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals nationally, helping hospitals and emergency rooms make room for more patients, especially those suffering from COVID-19.

  • Enabling greater capacity with healthcare providers. Aetna is streamlining its provider credentialing process so there can be more health care professionals caring for patients.

  • Enhancing telemedicine policies to enable more providers to visit patients virtually. Aetna reimburses all providers for telemedicine at the same rate as in-person visits including behavioral services, with the exception of some telephone-only services in commercial plans.

  • Ensuring full provider reimbursements for waived member cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Aetna will pay the amount of the cost-sharing the member would have ordinarily paid related to COVID-19 testing or inpatient treatment so there is no financial impact on the provider.

  • Providing behavioral health support. Frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential workers are playing a pivotal role helping individuals and communities through the pandemic. Resources for Living®, Aetna’s employee assistance program, is offering support to solve housing and childcare issues, facilitating group counseling and providing materials on the importance of self-care, safety, and mindfulness.

These steps build on previously announced efforts to help Aetna members access the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, including cost-sharing and co-pay waivers for diagnostic testing and telemedicine visits, in-patient treatment and expanding patient access to medications.

The company is providing the latest information on its response through its frequently-updated COVID-19 resource center.

Anyone presenting symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.

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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