Managing Chronic Health Conditions Between Doctor Visits

Chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, and cancer affect half of all American adults.1 What’s more, one in four Americans find themselves dealing with two or more of these diseases at a time. In between doctors’ visits, patients often face managing not only these health conditions but also the associated costs of treating them. Through our vast community touchpoints, CVS Health is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their chronic conditions, improving health outcomes and reducing costs.  

Challenges Managing Chronic Disease

Americans are often prescribed medications, such as beta-blockers or insulin therapy, to manage their chronic conditions, but it can be difficult to manage prescriptions to ensure they are taken as prescribed. According to a recent CVS Health poll, people reported that sticking to a dosing schedule, managing prescription refills, and understanding drug interactions are among the most difficult tasks associated with managing their medications. And these challenges become even more unwieldy when patients have to manage multiple prescriptions at a time.

In addition to medication, regular screenings and monitoring help Americans stay on top of what they need to do to avert or manage their chronic conditions. Routine screening and other preventive services have been effective in detecting and treating various risk factors for chronic diseases. However, only 25 percent of adults aged 50 to 64 years are up to date on preventive screenings and services, and that number increases to 50 percent among adults aged 65 or older.2

Pharmacists and Retail Health Clinics Can Help Connect People to Needed Chronic Disease Management Support

Availability of preventive and disease management services through locally accessible care sites, like CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic, can help connect people to potentially life-saving care. CVS Health's pharmacists are trained to provide medication counseling and medication therapy management to help patients stay on track with their prescriptions.

In addition, MinuteClinic nurse practitioners and physician assistants are on call to provide key screenings and monitoring for conditions such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis as part of CVS Health’s Transform Care programs, which provide condition-specific and personalized care to those who need it. This type of specialized care extends into individuals’ homes with services like Coram, through which home infusion nurses and pharmacists provide tailored care either at patients’ homes or at outpatient infusion sites to patients dealing with a variety of acute and chronic conditions.

And regardless of location, CVS Health offers a suite of digital pharmacy tools, and other innovative programs for CVS Health customers and CVS Caremark clients to help individuals better manage their chronic conditions by addressing barriers to medication adherence. The recently launched ScriptPath Prescription Schedule tool – just one example – helps patients keep track of and manage their multiple prescriptions with easy to understand icons and the creation of a simplified personalized prescription schedule.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve the quality, outcomes and affordability of chronic disease care, visit our Chronic Disease 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.

03.21.18

1  https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm

2  https://www.cdc.gov/aging/services/index.htm