Health Services, Payers

CVS Health charts nationwide expansion of its HealthHUB model by 2021

The expansion builds on an initial pilot that opened up three HealthHUB locations in Houston earlier this year. HealthHUBs will open around 50 additional locations in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Tampa later this year. 

CVS Health has pressed the gas pedal on its effort to bring in additional care delivery services across its retail footprint with plans to expand its HealthHUB stores to 1,500 locations by 2021.

HealthHUB is part of the pharmacy chain’s initiative to leverage its wide geographic distribution as a new front door to the healthcare system in the wake of the company’s blockbuster acquisition of Aetna last year.

The expansion builds on an initial pilot that opened up three HealthHUB locations in Houston earlier this year. HealthHUBs will open around 50 additional locations in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, southern New Jersey and Tampa later this year.

The new concept stores have more than 20 percent of their space dedicated to health services like a phlebotomy lab and exam rooms for health screenings. The stores also offer multipurpose wellness spaces which can be used for yoga classes, nutritional seminars, benefits education and health classes.

HealthHUBs also offer a wider array of health products and supplies like durable medical equipment and chronic disease management technologies that can be paired with individual health coaching provided by in-store dieticians and health counselors.

The stores are intended to offer more care delivery services than the company’s existing MinuteClinics and boost preventive care thereby reducing medical costs by managing existing conditions outside of the hospital and personalizing pharmacy services.

“CVS is positioning itself to be a powerful and disruptive force in the healthcare space. To match the ambition of Amazon – a fierce competitor staking its own claim in the industry – CVS will use its new health-centric locations to answer customer demands for convenience, accessibility and affordability, components of a very necessary market-based model,” said healthcare consultant Rita Numerof.

“Additionally, by refusing to get comfortable and continually making efforts to innovate, CVS will force their competitors to follow suit, much to consumers’ benefit. When competitive pressure increases, patient satisfaction stands to do the same.”

With a closer integration with the company’s Aetna business, the hope is to have greater data assets on patients to help direct them to lower cost health options and develop longer-term and more personalized care plans.

“We benefit from having pharmacy and medical benefits along with retail assets integrated into a single enterprise,” CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo said during a presentation at the company’s investor day.

“These owner economic  allow us to invest in unique programs that standalone entities just can’t match. We are truly operating with an enterprise mindset, agnostic to where value is being created across our enterprise.”

Each HealthHUB has an embedded care concierge who helps to educate customers on new service offers and direct them to in-store health services and providers.

The company said during its pilot phase customers accepted help from our care concierge in more than 95 percent of recorded interactions beyond a greeting, with 60 percent resulting in engagement with a HealthHUB provider or offerings.

While many of these additional longer term services will be first rolled out to Aetna members, Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, said the eventual goal is to build an “open platform model” which can be offered to other payers in the geographic area of the HealthHUB.

“We want to develop deep and trusted relationship with the patient including data sharing and full visibility in the person’s medical profile, their health history and what’s the next best thing to offer with that person,” Hourican said during a presentation at CVS Health’s Investor Day. “We will extend these capabilities to other payers, especially the other major insurers that have associated PBMs.”

Picture: CVS Health

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