Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer for CVS Health, presented to the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. — a forum for business leaders and policymakers to address top social and economic issues — to share his vision for transforming health care for Americans. Merlo emphasized how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna will improve health care by bringing care closer to home and helping patients manage their conditions more seamlessly. According to Merlo, the combined company will play a critical role in complementing primary care, which will in turn improve health outcomes.
To illustrate how the combined company will integrate care delivery for patients, Merlo shared an example of “Diane” — a hypothetical patient newly-diagnosed with diabetes. Consider, for example, that “Diane” leaves the doctor’s office with a new care plan including instructions for a new medication, lab instructions to measure her blood sugar levels and instructions for diet and exercise regimens. But will she know how to execute her care plan effectively? Her doctor has warned her that if she doesn’t get her blood sugar under control, her risk increases significantly for diabetes-related complications like heart damage and kidney damage. It is at this point where she is not just a patient; she is now a consumer of health care.
“This is where the combination of CVS Health and Aetna can make a difference. We can leverage our community assets to deliver more targeted and timely interventions,” said Merlo. “Whereas a patient might only see his or her physician four to five times a year, they will likely to see their pharmacist as many as 18-24 times in the same year. With a presence in 10,000 communities across the country, our combined company will be able to offer many options to access care — whether in the community at retail pharmacies and clinics, in the home, or through digital tools.”