Retail News Breaks
CVS starts consumer ‘engine’
June 8th, 2009
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – This quarter CVS Caremark Corp. is set to begin piloting its Consumer Engagement Engine, a data integration and intelligence solution designed to boost prescription drug adherence and effectiveness by providing a comprehensive view of the customer.
Executive vice president and chief medical officer Troy Brennan outlined the system and its delivery timetable in a presentation at the company’s 2009 analysts/investors meeting in New York City.
Part of CVS Caremark’s Proactive Pharmacy Care initiative, the solution aims to pool data gleaned from all customer touch points — including the retail and specialty pharmacies, mail order, MinuteClinics, the CVS and Caremark web sites, the telephone pharmacy service, and the ExtraCare loyalty program — in order to develop a full picture of a person’s interaction with the company and his or her prescription purchase and usage behavior, as well as related personal and health care information.
“It’s really nothing more than a single view of the patient, bringing together all of the data that we have on that individual and then analyzing it using algorithms and a clinical rules engine so that we can decide what’s best for that patient,” Brennan said.
For example, he explained, the engine could give a unified view of a customer’s demographic information, medication history, prescribing physicians, drug usage, prescription adherence patterns and preferred ways of filling prescriptions (such as via retail pharmacies or mail order). It also could provide information about the customer’s prescription plan and communication preferences, including face-to-face interaction with pharmacists, interactive voice response or e-mail.
Then the engine could identify such health care opportunities as a new prescription, a lower-cost generic drug and missed or lapsed prescriptions and convey them to the customer through his or her preferred means of communication, whether that be through a pharmacist, mail, phone call, e-mail or a prescribing doctor.
“What it does is present a series of opportunities for that patient,” Brennan said.
Ultimately, the goal is to bolster adherence to drug regimens and improve health outcomes, in turn lowering health care expenses by offering more effective and affordable medication options and minimizing costly medical visits.
“We’re building it into all of our work flows,” Brennan said of the engagement engine.
Plans call for CVS Caremark to implement the comprehensive view of customers in the second quarter, integrate the engine with mail-order call centers in the third, coordinate letters and outbound calls to customers in the fourth, and integrate the engine within CVS pharmacies by the second quarter of 2010.
“As this rolls out, it’s going to give us a lot of new opportunities for probing different ways to improve adherence and increase effectiveness overall,” Brennan said.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. analyst Bill Dreher notes that the engine can help CVS Caremark take advantage of its breadth as a health care provider and multichannel reach to consumers.
“CVS’ scale is a key competitive advantage, and as the company is able to leverage its size to bring down the cost of medications, the savings can be shared with payers and consumers,” Dreher said in a research note on the analysts meeting.
“We believe these overall health-related savings will satisfy value-seeking clients, which should drive market share with the PBM and drug retail markets for CVS.”
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