Amid the trend of retailers creating solutions to improve primary care, CVS Health has launched CVS Health Virtual Primary Care – a new virtual care solution available through a single digital platform. The offering connects CVS Health’s services, clinical expertise and data for a more coordinated and consumer-centric health care experience. The new solution enables consumers to choose care when and where they want – in a retail or community-based setting, through at-home health services, or virtually.
CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will give members timely access to primary care, on-demand care, chronic condition management and mental health services virtually, with the option of being seen in-person when needed at an in-network provider, including MinuteClinic. The virtual primary care provider can also help members identify appropriate in-network specialists and other in-network health service providers, if necessary.
A member-selected physician-led Care Team will comprise CVS Health Virtual Primary Care, consisting of nurse practitioners, registered nurses and licensed vocational nurses who can easily be accessed through the platform. The Care Team will consult with a dedicated CVS pharmacist when needed, who can provide opportunities for medication management. CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will also use an interoperable electronic health record that will help members transition between virtual and in-person care, and their clinical data can also be shared with their other providers.
“By offering a connected care team where providers can easily exchange clinical information on behalf of their patients, and an extensive local footprint for in-person care follow-up, we’re able to provide consistent, high-quality care. This model shifts from reactive to proactive care that can ultimately improve outcomes and help lower costs,” said Creagh Milford, DO MPH, FACOI, VP, enterprise virtual care, CVS Health.
By combining health services, a coordinated Care Team and clinical data on a single digital platform, CVS Health Virtual Primary Care aims to help all members receive health guidance and care coordination that directs them to the lowest cost, clinically appropriate care.
The new offering, which is being sold to Aetna fully-insured, self-insured plan sponsors, and CVS Caremark clients now, will become effective for eligible Aetna members starting Jan. 1, 2023, and for eligible CVS Caremark members during the second quarter of 2023.
Other retailers have also stepped up their commitment to provide affordable primary care services. Most recently, H-E-B introduced its H-E-B Wellness Primary Care Clinics. Measuring 4,000 square feet, the Texas grocer debuted its first location in Austin on May 12. H-E-B Wellness Primary Care board-certified doctors will help patients stay healthy or manage chronic illnesses by working with registered dietitians with a holistic, food-first philosophy rooted in science.
In April, Walmart Health launched in the Sunshine State with the rollout of five health centers throughout North and Central Florida. The Collins Road Health Center in Jacksonville sits adjacent to a Walmart Supercenter and provides primary care, X-rays, labs, behavioral health, dental, hearing, optical and a telehealth option. Staff include physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, behavioral health providers and optometrists, as well as onsite Walmart Care Hosts and Community Health Workers to help customers navigate their visit.
Additionally, in December 2021, Hy-Vee Inc. rolled out RedBox Rx, a new national subsidiary that offers low-cost telehealth and online pharmacy services, and sends prescribed treatments directly to patients’ homes anywhere in the U.S. Bypassing insurance, the service provides treatment plans for men’s health, women’s health, hair and skin, mental health, migraine headaches and primary care, among other issues.
With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. San Antonio-based H-E-B is No. 16 on The PG 100, while Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart U.S. is No. 1 and West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee is No. 30.