Following the completion of its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, CVS plans to open concept stores focused on providing disease management while reducing medical costs. The retailer expects the Aetna deal to be finalized by Thanksgiving 2018, and the medically focused pilot stores will be “up and running early next year,” said CEO Larry Merlo in a recent call with Wall Street analysts.
The approach to care, which will initially be available to CVS customers and Aetna members, will include:
• Managing five common chronic conditions: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, asthma and behavioral health;
• Extending primary care, including expanding the scope of services available at CVS MinuteClinics to help identify and manage chronic diseases;
• Reducing hospital readmissions by combining Aetna clinical programs with the CVS community presence to support patients during and after the discharge process; and
• Developing comprehensive programs to better manage complex diseases such as kidney disease or cancer.
“Our solutions will be accessible through a broad range of channels, from local community-based assets to virtual and digital solutions, all coordinated across the member's journey in order to simplify the process,” said Merlo. “And we will make these solutions not only available to our Aetna clients and their members, but also to the wide array of health care partners we work with today through an open platform model.”
While CVS did not reveal how many concept stores would open or unveil a specific timetable, Merlo said the stores would operate in a hub-and-spoke model with other CVS locations. “Some have referred to [the stores] as health hubs,” he said. “We would have those in a set number of stores within a given market, and the balance of the stores would have a core set of offerings that would serve as a referral source to those hub stores.
“Remaking the consumer experience will be an increasingly important competitive differentiator,” he added. “We are hard at work creating a plan to differentiate CVS Health in these patient journeys with the goal of making them simpler and more personalized, while making care more accessible.”