CVS Health adds 1st digital health app to benefits offerings

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CVS Health is now offering Sleepio, an all-digital insomnia treatment app, to CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management clients, The New York Times reports.

Under a partnership with Sleepio's parent company Big Health, CVS Caremark clients are able to cover the cost of the app for their employees just as they cover the cost of prescription drugs. The app features an animated therapist to guide users through behavior modification treatment, and is the first purely digital therapy tool offered by CVS Health.

The app is already offered by a few employers, and several more are expected to sign on in the coming months, a CVS Health spokesperson told the Times. The app does not require a prescription for use. It was chosen as the company's first digital therapeutic offering because it is backed by several rigorous studies, Troyen Brennan, MD, CVS Health's chief medical officer, told the outlet.

"It's important for us as a pharmacy benefit management company, as a big retail pharmacy, to endorse digital therapeutics when they work as good as or better than medications one can take by mouth," Dr. Brennan said. "We can give the stamp of approval from having looked at the scientific information."

About a dozen more digital treatment tools are reportedly under consideration by CVS Health, which ultimately hopes to offer an extensive list of digital health options for employee benefit plans. "We're doing it because we think patients are going to benefit from it," Dr. Brennan said. "That's an important step for physicians. That's an important step for patients."

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