CVS Health is well-positioned to manage its customers' care needs, and its role will only grow if its proposed $69 billion acquisition of Aetna gets regulatory approval, Dr. Troyen Brennan, CVS' executive vice president and chief medical officer, said Thursday.
"We're trying to shrink the distance between the patient's everyday life and care engagement," Brennan said at a forum hosted by Northwell Health at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. "Our physical footprint is the big strategic value we have associated with that."
That footprint, which includes nearly 10,000 outposts, puts 71% of Americans within 5 miles of a CVS store, according to Quartz. CVS is trying to extend its reach through telehealth. It announced this week that it has partnered with Teladoc to make video visits available for $59.
Through a team of coordinators, pharmacists and MinuteClinic nurses, CVS has targeted five chronic diseases that it believes it can address—diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, asthma and depression—to drive savings, Brennan said. It is targeting $20 million in savings per 100,000 commercially insured members and double that amount for Medicare members.
But Brennan stressed that CVS hopes to complement, not replace, primary care.
"We're not going to buy up an entire layer of primary care, urgent-care centers and ambulatory surgery and then play the hospitals against one another," he said. "We see ourselves as part of the medical home, with everyone having their primary care provider."
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Jonathan S. Halpert MD FACEP
Chair, Government Affairs
North East Regional Urgent Care Association