CVS Health’s Brennan talks connected health at HLTH

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CVS Health’s Brennan talks connected health at HLTH

By David Salazar - 05/09/2018
CVS Health chief medical officer Troyen Brennan took the stage at healthcare innovation event HLTH Tuesday in Las Vegas to discuss the company’s approach to patient health. He told attendees of the event how the company creates insights from data that it combines with community-based retail health care to offer patients a personalized experience that can impact outcome and cost.

“Chronic disease in America is growing and our ability to pay for it is shrinking,” said Brennan. “At CVS Health, our goal is to make care more accessible, affordable and convenient to help create a healthier population. Our unique enterprise-wide capabilities, including our vast physical retail footprint and digital and analytic capabilities, put us within reach of nearly every American, which allows us to help create a new standard for healthcare engagement.”

Brennan noted that roughly half of all healthcare spend is driven by 5% of the population, comprised mostly of patients with unmanaged chronic diseases. Additionally, more than 40% of hospital readmissions are preventable — which means that if they were prevented, Medicare could save more than $17 billion annually. He said that CVS Health is poised to offer a new “unique chassis for population health management” through use of telephonic case management in combination with patient data, medical intelligence and in=person visits to healthcare hubs in CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations.

“We are looking to narrow the distance between patients in their everyday lives and the caregiving facility by leveraging digital data and making health care accessible in convenient community locations,” Brennan said.

CVS Health is planning to pilot retail-based population health management efforts focused on patients with the five most common chronic diseases, fragile patients and patients transitioning from the hospital to home. These interventions will be supported with innovation around improved health monitoring and patient data collection, enhanced outreach through digital tools and embedded connectivity with primary care providers to strengthen preventive care, Brennan said.

“Without true innovation, more people will simply be without health care in the future,” Brennan said. “At CVS Health, we share in the responsibility to create a healthier population and a better, more sustainable health care system, and our goal is to do this by removing unnecessary costs through high quality and coordinated care.”

Brennan highlighted how CVS Health is building out its digital capabilities around at-home biometric monitoring and telemedicine. Examples included connected glucometer that could help monitor blood sugar and alert a CVS Health provider if patients’ levels are too high. Telemedicine was touted as a way to fill the gap between in-person visits to CVS Pharmacy or a primary care provider. Brennan also pointed to MinuteClinic as a source for tests for patients with chronic conditions in between regular doctor visits.

"We can stay in touch with the primary care doctor and integrate with their care of the patient in a way that complements and doesn't compete with the delivery of primary care in the medical home," Brennan concluded. "We believe that by applying artificial-intelligence evaluated data with a human touch we will be able to provide a much better approach to population health management than has previously been available."