CVS Health CEO outlines plans for expansion

With ambitious plans to open 1,500 HealthHub concept stores across the U.S. by the end of 2021, CVS Health shows no signs of slowing its expansion into the realm of consumer-centric healthcare, one year after acquiring Aetna for $69 billion.

In a recent interview with The Providence Journal, CVS Health CEO and President Larry Merlo discussed the company's three-part "strategic vision," exemplified by the plans to open hundreds more HealthHubs in the coming months, including several in the Providence, R.I., region.

"One is the need to make healthcare local and to meet people where they are, whether it's in their community, their home or now even in the palm of your hand," Mr. Merlo said. "The second is the need to make healthcare more simple to use and navigate. Once again, we see an opportunity to help customers, patients gain the information and resources with which to make informed health decisions."

The third prong of CVS Health's strategy, he said, "is simply to improve health and the opportunity to help one achieve their best health, and in doing so reduce overall healthcare costs."

Mr. Merlo shared that the HealthHubs that have already opened have received "extremely high marks" from customers, adding, "This makes their life easier." The health-focused stores, he explained, are not meant to serve as a direct competitor to traditional healthcare providers, but to "play a complementary role."

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