Moriarty at POLITICO Health Care Innovators

Health Care Innovators is an event series by POLITICO, and sponsored by CVS Health, highlighting the new faces and best practices in health care innovation. At the series’ second event, Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, discussed how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna is challenging the status quo in health care.

Moriarty emphasized how our newly created model can innovate from within the current health care system by tackling the key challenges that patients face and improving the overall patient experience. 

Addressing Health Care Hurdles

Our health care system was not built to provide patients with the coordinated care and tools they need to manage their conditions and easily determine what is best for their health. According to Moriarty, uncoordinated care can lead to inferior outcomes and higher costs. Today, a huge portion of health care costs is allocated towards chronic disease management and data show that close to $500 billion of these costs are avoidable.

Moriarty highlighted how the CVS Health and Aetna combination provides the opportunity to address avoidable costs by providing patients with access to the right care locally.

In the case of diabetes, Moriarty noted that CVS Health can ensure that patients are healthier and costly adverse events are avoided. “We will have the ability to determine who is at risk of developing diabetes and provide them preventative counseling and services,” said Moriarty. “We can also improve health, reduce these numbers in the future and realize extensive savings by doing so – both for the patients and the system.”

Improving the Health Care Experience

CVS Health has set a very real goal of transforming the consumer health care experience. To meet this goal, Moriarty demonstrated how CVS Health can improve coordination across the care continuum and provide patients with more touchpoints to care.

Moriarty shared the example of a patient leaving the hospital to illustrate how the CVS Health and Aetna combination can simplify health care. Consider, for example, that while the patient may be well enough for discharge, she leaves with a complicated care plan in hand. It can be difficult to know where she should start and how to achieve better health outcomes. 

By fully integrating Aetna’ medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data and our 10,000 retail locations, the care plan prescribed by the doctor can be more seamlessly coordinated by CVS Health and the patient’s caregiver. We can provide adherence outreach to ensure she is taking her medications, or schedule a MinuteClinic follow up within 14 days post discharge if she is unable to see her provider. Whether it is filling the care gaps between visits to the doctor, providing clinical programs to ensure the patient stays well at home or increasing her utilization of lower-cost sites of care – we know we can make staying healthy easier and more affordable.

Moriarty also emphasized how CVS Health is working to improve health at the community level by providing patients with more engagement. Recently, CVS Health announced a five-year $100 million commitment to improve community health through increased access to free health screenings, additional volunteer hours in the communities we serve and expanded support for national and local organizations that are working on the front lines to improve health care. According to Moriarty, this investment will help address the social determinants of health, such as family, education, housing and access to fresh food, that impact patients’ health and well-being in communities nationwide.

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.