CVS leans into primary care

CVS Health said it plans to "move the needle on preventive care" by continuing to expand primary healthcare and using analytics and technology to reach patients where they are.

Sree Chaguturu, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer of CVS Health, cited the company's $10.6 billion acquisition of Oak Street Health, which provides primary care to Medicare-eligible seniors at its 160 clinics. Research has shown that primary care providers "create better long-term health outcomes and lower overall costs, especially for people with complex and chronic conditions," he wrote in the Sept. 18 blog post.

The company also offers virtual primary care, team-based primary care from Aetna, retail primary care at MinuteClinic, and home health from Signify Health, which CVS bought in March for $8 billion, Dr. Chaguturu noted. CVS now employs more than 40,000 physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacists.

"Through extensive research into inflection points in the healthcare journey, and stewarding some of the largest analytics efforts in healthcare, CVS Health is working toward a system of speaking the language of each patient we serve," he said.

That could mean an automated phone or app-based "nudge" to schedule a vaccine, or virtual or at-home care for routine screenings, he said.

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