WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Health, delivered the closing keynote address at the 2015 Business Health Agenda conference held in Washington, D.C. by the National Business Group on Health.
Speaking Friday morning, Brennan outlined ways that pharmacy care can play a key role in addressing health care cost and quality as the overall health care system faces increased stress. In the wake of its move to cease tobacco sales in its pharmacies, CVS Health has begun sharpening its focus on providing new tools to help patients, health providers and health benefit plans improve medication adherence.
“Medication nonadherence can have a significant impact on patients’ health outcomes, and it costs the nation’s health care system nearly $300 billion every year,” Brennan said in his remarks. “Sadly, one of the most significant challenges is patients often don’t take their medications. They forget or they’re confused, or they fail to understand why they should be taking them.”
Brennan also spotlighted the CVS Health Pharmacy Advisor program — designed to connect pharmacists, health care providers and health plans by stressing the importance of adherence to prescribed medications — and other adherence innovations from the company, including packaging to help patients manage multiple medications and digital tools such as texting and messaging patients about their medications.
“We can improve adherence and reduce gaps in care by connecting and integrating our interactions with patients, taking advantage of our ability to counsel patients at convenient touch points,” Brennan stated.
Brennan, too, discussed trends in health care costs and strategies to manage them, Medicare and state health care budgets, employer-provided insurance and new modes of care delivery, as well as how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is changing health care.
He also cited the role that CVS/minuteclinic plays in making quality health care more affordable and accessible. “Connecting consumers into the health care system is our unique capability. Our MinuteClinics represent one way in which we can effectuate connectivity and integration in the health care system.”