The U.S. health care system, which involves numerous payers and providers, is complex and continues to evolve. Experts suggest that improving quality in our health care system requires better care coordination and improving its delivery. As a leader in pharmacy benefits, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, infusion services, retail clinics and long-term care pharmacy, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to tackle health care’s ongoing challenges to help our patients achieve their best health.
Here are just a few of the ways we’re doing this:
Providing high-quality, cost-effective care through MinuteClinic
MinuteClinic is making high-quality medical care more affordable and convenient. Patients can receive treatment for acute illnesses in addition to wellness services including vaccinations, screenings, weight loss, and chronic disease monitoring. And for the 50 percent of the patients seen at MinuteClinic who do not have a primary care provider, we can provide the resources they need to find one.
More than 30 million patient visits have taken place at MinuteClinic since its inception, and in response to patient demand, we are adding a variety of new medical services that include treatment of strains and sprains, gout, joint pain and select digestive conditions. We are also expanding our women’s health and counseling services to include contraceptive care.
Connecting Care across the Health Continuum
The U.S. health care system provides a surprisingly fragmented experience for many patients. That’s why we support the “medical neighborhood” concept, in which all parts of the system work together. To that end, we’re collaborating with Health Is Primary to increase coordination of care, specifically between primary care providers and our CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations. Together, we can help patients understand when, where and how to access the services they need within the medical neighborhood.
In addition, we have formed nearly 70 clinical affiliations with major health systems across the country. These relationships create opportunities for a variety of collaborative programs, including the development of joint clinical programs and electronic health records integration.
Helping people take their medications as prescribed
Medication non-adherence is a major problem in our health care system, costing nearly $300 billion and tens of thousands of lives each year. So we’ve built programs that can help people take their medicines as prescribed to improve health outcomes, save lives and significantly reduce medical costs.
For example, Pharmacy Advisor® engages plan members who are diagnosed with chronic conditions either face-to-face when they choose to fill prescriptions at CVS Pharmacy or by phone when members choose mail service pharmacy. This allows CVS pharmacists to engage directly with patients and communicate with their physicians in real time. Patients may also be directed to disease management programs for additional support. In addition, more than one million patients have enrolled in ScriptSyncTM, which allows customers to pick up their maintenance medications at the same time each month at their preferred CVS Pharmacy.
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Providing vital care to patients in their homes
For patients in need of infusion therapy, Coram provides convenient, cost-effective and high-quality care to patients with a range of acute and chronic conditions, including immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Care is provided in patients’ homes or through our national network of more than 85 locations and more than 65 outpatient infusion suites.
In fact, a study by the CVS Health Research Institute found that home infusion care is safe, clinically effective and improves quality of life while reducing health care costs when compared to infusion care delivered in a hospital or clinic.
Supporting patients with complex conditions
For patients with complex conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, just filling a prescription for their medication can be a challenge, since specialty medications typically require special handling, storage and administration, and are often available only at select specialty pharmacies or through mail delivery.
Specialty ConnectTM takes the uncertainty out of the specialty prescription-filling process by giving patients the option to bring their specialty prescriptions to any CVS Pharmacy. After dropping off their prescription, patients receive insurance guidance and 24/7 clinical support by phone from a team of specialty pharmacy experts. Patients can choose between in-store pickup at any of the more than 9,600 CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide, or they can receive their medications by mail.