5 ways CVS will use personalization to evolve its Next-Gen Rx services

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5 ways CVS will use personalization to evolve its Next-Gen Rx services

By Michael Johnsen - 12/16/2015

NEW YORK — At its Analyst Day held here Wednesday, CVS Health outlined five strategies CVS is deploying to evolve the next generation of retail pharmacy services through a more personalized approach to health care. 


"We have assembled the most extensive suite of leading assets that make us well positioned to play an important role in solving [the] cost, quality, access conundrum" associated with pharmacy, Larry Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO, told analysts during the company's fifth annual December Analyst Day. "Our integrated assets allow us to partner more broadly across the healthcare landscape," he said. "We are still the only company with the ability to impact those patients, payors and providers with innovative, channel-agnostic solutions."


Retail pharmacy is the focus, Merlo said, as CVS Health has captured 39% of prescription growth in the past five years. "About four of every 10 new scripts were captured by CVS Health and that equates to about 275 million incremental prescriptions for our enterprise," Merlo said. "We have continued to achieve a key component for our enterprise growth strategy by continuing to capture an outsized share of the overall industry growth."


CVS Health has pursued that retail pharmacy growth through five key innovations that are delivering value both to patients and strategic partners through personalization - personalized patient outreach, a medsync service, specialty pharmacy, strategic partnerships with providers and the digital integration of the pharmacy experience. "Our pharmacy is where we really start to see the full power of our integrated enterprise," noted Helena Foulkes, president CVS/pharmacy. "In the B2B world, our focus is on serving payors and providers to drive improved health outcomes. In the B2C world, we're uniquely positioned to benefit from the retailization of healthcare, leveraging the power of the face-to-face interactions that take place daily between our pharmacists and patients."


Next Generation Patient Care


"The traditional model for patient care initiatives was one-size-fits-all," Foulkes said. "However, we realize that to help people on their path to better health, the better approach is targeted patient care services that are oriented around the patient." It's a more personalized strategy to drive adherence and outcomes, she said. 


For example, ahead of Hurricane Joaquin this year CVS partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to run a proactive weather alert to patients of the 300 stores within the path of the hurricane. Within 36 hours, CVS mobilized its pharmacy team into action, resulting in more than 400,000 automated calls and more than 175,000 text alerts to patients to check that they had enough of their medicines before the storm hit. "We become more sophisticated and more targeted in our outreach to drive business and take care of our patients," Foulkes said. 




And while CVS Health's medsync program ScriptSync might seem counterintuitive - reducing the number of monthly trips to the retail pharmacy outlet by collating a patient's medicine regimen into one pick-up day - the combination of improved patient adherence and the opportunity to realize greater supply chain efficiencies through a medication synchronization program more than make up for those lost trips. More than 70% of the patients who are offered the program buy in. To date, more than 500,000 have enrolled. 


Specialty Connect


CVS Health's specialty business platform represents a powerful combination to capture and maintain a specialty patient life. "The power of our integrated model marries the support the local CVS pharmacist provides, for example onboarding a newly diagnosed patient, with the power of our back-end specialty care teams who provide ongoing counseling to support adherence," Foulkes said. Patients get it. Satisfication is strong at 93% and adherence rates are up more than 11%. 


Strategic Partnerships


Another benefit behind CVS Health's integrated model is the kind of strategic initiatives CVS Health can engage to support health plans in their member acquisiton, outreach and influence efforts. 


For example, CVS Health developed a comprehensive outreach program for one health plan to ensure their diabetic patients had completed an A1C screening. The health plan had sent letters to their patients, however, CVS Health augmented that outreach by providing a face-to-face intervention with a CVS pharamcist when the patient picked up their medicines and added educational information to the patient's prescription bag. "We're seeing nice improvements through our integrated efforts," Foulkes said. "It's another example of the power of our integrated model to deliver better outcomes for clients and patients."


Digital Integration


Engaging patients through digital is fast becoming a crucial cog in the overall pharmacy offering. Digital patients fill 2.4 times more prescriptions than non-digital patients. "[Digital patients] are more likely to fill their prescriptions and they're more likely to be adherent to their medications," Foulkes said. "By the end of this year, approximately one in three CVS/pharmacy patients will have been enrolled in text messaging. We will have sent more than 200 million text messages informing patients when to pick up their medications as well as communicating refill reminders and status updates."


During the presentation, Foulkes also addressed several key growth drivers across its front-end business as well as the impact of CVS Health's acquisition of Target pharmacy. That deal was finalized today