Helping Americans Find the Right Care at the Lowest Cost

Currently, 62 percent of adults report that they are confident they could afford their health care – a decline from a high of nearly 70 percent in 2015.i As consumers continue to take on more responsibility in managing their health care decisions and shoulder more of their health care costs through high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), this finding reinforces the need to provide innovative tools that help consumers locate care that works best for their budgets and their health care needs.

Research has found that consumers will opt for lower-cost health care services when they have access to straightforward information about their recommended care and options.ii However, information about the cost of health care services isn’t always readily available, and if it is, it isn’t always presented in a clear, simple way.

At CVS Health, we help consumers find affordable health care by expanding visibility into drug costs, providing transparent information about the cost of community-based health services, and leveraging digital tools and analytics to ensure that patients can manage their conditions efficiently and at a lower cost.

Connecting Patients and Prescribers to Lower-Cost Medicines

At a time when nearly 8 in 10 Americans express concerns about the rising cost of prescription drugs, we know that affordability solutions are needed. At CVS Health, we believe that better drug cost transparency is key to helping patients lower their out-of-pocket costs.

  • Our real-time benefits program gives prescribers access to covered benefits and what patients will pay out-of-pocket under their plan for a specific drug. Prescribers are connecting patients to lower cost therapeutic alternatives by moving them to a covered drug 75 percent of the time, saving $120-$130 per filled prescription.

  • The Rx Savings Finder tool, available at 9,800 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide, has the ability to save patients $420 annually by enabling our pharmacists to quickly and seamlessly review their prescription regimen, medication history and benefit plans to identify the lowest-cost, clinically appropriate medication available.

Providing Information about the Cost of Care

More than 15 percent of consumers enrolled in HDHPs report difficulties paying for medical bills after receiving care.iii At CVS Health, we believe that consumers shouldn’t be surprised by their cost of care. That’s why we provide tools that help consumers understand what their out-of-pocket costs will be before receiving care.

  • Our 1,100 MinuteClinic locations offer 125 health services, ranging from vaccinations to the treatment of minor illnesses. The cost of these services is easily searchable through a comprehensive online price list

  • Patients conduct over 250,000 searches on our online Check Drug Cost tool each month to identify potential savings.

Improving Care through Digital Tools and Analytics

Digital tools and analytics have the ability to support a more connected health care system, which in turn connects patients to care that better fits their needs. CVS Health integrates across the health care system to help patients and their providers access more affordable, coordinated care. For example:

  • We’re connected to the most widely used electronic health records system through a partnership with Epic, which helps improve consistency and coordination across care teams.

  • We provide several digital tools to help patients seamlessly manage their medications at home, which can help reduce the risk of costly hospitalizations.

For more information on how CVS Health is working to expand access to more affordable and effective health care, check out our Cost of Care 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.

10.04.18

i  https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2018/americans-confidence-their-ability-pay-health-care-falling

ii  https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/will-people-price-shop-for-healthcare

iii   https://www.publicagenda.org/pages/how-much-will-it-cost