Merlo at Forbes Health Care: How our Newly-Combined Company Meets Health Care Needs

Larry Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer for CVS Health, participated in a discussion with Matt Herper, Senior Health Care Editor for Forbes, at the annual Forbes Health Care Summit – a gathering of more than 300 health care industry leaders and innovators – to address the recent combination of CVS Health and Aetna. Merlo shared his vision for how the newly-combined company will empower consumers with the tools and solutions they need to become more engaged in their health care decision-making and access trusted providers in their communities.

Placing Consumers at the Center of their Care

As enrollment in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) continues to grow, consumers are increasingly becoming more accountable for their health care decisions. However, according to Merlo, the tools to help patients effectively manage their decisions are lagging behind the expectations of these plan designs.

According to Merlo, our newly-combined company will meet three opportunities to close this gap for today’s health care consumer. 

  • Be local: Helping consumers access care where and how it is convenient for them – whether in the community, in their home or in the palm of their hand through digital devices
  • Make it simple: Creating a more connected experience for consumers to help increase engagement. The more engaged the patient is with the right care, we believe that the more their health improves.
  • Achieve the best health at a lower cost: Avoiding unnecessary costs by connecting patients to the right care at the right time and expanding access to preventative services.

The New Front Door to Health Care

CVS Health serves 10,000 communities nationwide – giving us a unique ability to meet people where they are. By integrating our community reach with Aetna’s data and analytics, we can better understand how patients can improve their health outcomes and interact with them much more seamlessly.  

Consider, for example, a diabetes patient who hasn’t had their A1C levels checked in more than a year. We will be able to provide that patient with expanded touchpoints to care, ensuring that they remain adherent to their personalized care plan.

“Today, outreach to patients is oftentimes a telephone call or from a faceless name or an impersonalized letter sent in the mail. This new combination establishes a network of more than 45,000 health care providers that live in the communities of nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population,” said Merlo “Through local interactions, we can activate the next best health care action in a differentiated way for our patients and make a meaningful difference in their overall health and well-being.”  

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access 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.