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New health programs rolled out by CVS

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — This month, CVS Health rolled out two health programs, one focused on preventive care and the other on a chronic disease.

The first was the MinuteClinic providing free heart health screenings each week throughout the month. The second was an ongoing program called Transform Rheumatoid Arthritis Care. It was introduced to help the company’s pharmacy benefit management clients manage care and costs for rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Dubbed “Know Your Numbers,” the MinuteClinic heart health screenings were scheduled for every Wednesday in February at all MinuteClinic locations. CVS said the heart health checks are part of its support of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” initiative.

Customers could visit their local MinuteClinic on Wednesdays and receive a free heart health preventive screening to learn the five key personal health numbers to help them gauge their risk for heart disease: total cholesterol, HDL (“good”) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI).

“Knowing your numbers is more important than ever, following recently updated guidelines from the American Heart Association that indicate nearly half of Americans are at risk for major health problems as a result of high blood pressure,” explained Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner officer at MinuteClinic. “Knowing the numbers that may indicate risk not only allows someone to assess risk for heart disease and stroke, but it can determine what actions, if any, are needed to manage your risk,” she ­added.

The MinuteClinic heart health screenings are sponsored by Bayer Aspirin in recognition of CVS Health’s support of Go Red For Women.

In addition, CVS Health released findings from a national survey of U.S. women showing that few acknowledge their personal risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Of the 1,141 adult women surveyed by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health, only 18% consider heart disease to be the top health problem facing Americans today. What’s more, most women weren’t aware of their status for factors that could increase their heart disease risk, including cholesterol levels (57%), blood sugar (58%), BMI (61%) or waist circumference (62%).

Meanwhile, 64% of women said pharmacists play a role in managing heart health. But just 15% have asked their pharmacist questions about heart health, and only 36% have talked to their pharmacist about the heart medications they’re taking. And of those who had questions about their heart medications, 70% said they found their pharmacist to be very helpful.

“Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly one in three women each year, and their effects have touched many of our colleagues and customers,” stated Lisa Bisaccia, chief human resources officer at CVS Health and incoming national volunteer chair for Go Red For Women. “By supporting Go Red For Women, we are creating an easy way for people to take the steps they need to prevent heart disease and to show their support for family, friends and neighbors who are affected,” she ­remarked.

CVS Health’s Transform Rheumatoid Arthritis Care program is the latest addition to the company’s suite of condition-specific Transform Care programs adding value-based management strategies for autoimmune conditions to CVS Health’s integrated pharmacy care model.

“By leveraging our integrated pharmacy care model, we can provide highly personalized, whole-patient support through our specialty pharmacy and embedded AccordantCare nurses, while harnessing the power of our PBM’s tools to encourage appropriate use of and adherence to lower-cost therapies,” said Dr. Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health.

The Transform RA Care program is designed to help encourage appropriate use of lower-cost therapies through pharmacy network and utilization management tools along with value-based management strategies such as outcomes-based contracts and a new indication-based formulary for autoimmune conditions. Outcomes-based contracts tie reimbursement for a drug to achieving a specific target or goal.

“Treating rheumatoid arthritis costs the U.S. health care system $19 billion a year. Both spend and trend have also been rising for the autoimmune category in recent years, and market analysts expect this category to be the fastest-growing drug class over the next five years,” said Dr. Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of CVS Specialty, the specialty pharmacy division of CVS Health.


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