CVS Health’s push into omnichannel care delivery continued last week with its new Virtual Primary Care solution geared towards connecting the company’s clinical expertise and patient data on a single digital platform.
CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will provide eligible Aetna and CVS Caremark members with access to on-demand primary care, chronic condition management, and mental health services in either virtual or in-person settings.
- The service’s physician-led care teams include nurse practitioners, RNs, and licensed vocational nurses. The care team will consult CVS pharmacists and help members identify appropriate in-network specialists and other services as needed.
- An interoperable EHR will help patients transition between virtual and in-person care while allowing clinical data to be shared with other providers. A comprehensive data view will also enable providers to deliver personalized health alerts to patients.
The new program aims to enable timely access to care, and CVS cites reports that it currently takes 24 days to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician and twice that long to see a mental health professional.
- Although the press release doesn’t go into too much detail on how CVS plans to staff the program, an active job listing for a virtual primary care provider indicates that they’re hiring two PCPs to cover the entire 17-state central US region.
- If that ratio holds through next year’s launch it would suggest that CVS isn’t expecting significant patient volume through the platform, although it’s still early to make that call.
The Virtual Primary Care launch continues CVS Health’s recent string of service enhancements designed to help it move beyond its corner drugstore image, including reimagining its stores as healthcare destinations and a strategic data partnership with Microsoft. The move also bolsters CVS Health’s overall care delivery strategy at a time when one of its most direct competitors, Walgreens, is doubling down on primary care by taking an ownership stake in VillageMD to streamline the launch of at least 700 connected clinics by 2027.