Access to Care Where, When, and How Plan Members Want

Digital Health Solutions Offer Care Continuity, Personalization, and Convenient Access During the Pandemic

BRIEFING
September 10, 2020
Executive Vice President, Specialty and Product Innovation, CVS Health

Digital health solutions are a convenient way for members to access the care they need, when and where they want. Findings from the 2020 Path to Better Health Study from CVS Health highlight that consumers are looking for more convenient ways to communicate with their health care providers.

Pictogram of a laptop showing a bar chart 48%
of respondents would be more likely to communicate with health care professionals digitally
Pictogram of a mobile phone 44%
of respondents indicated they would prefer text message alerts from health care providers
Pictogram of a laptop showing a bar chart 48%
of respondents would be more likely to communicate with health care professionals digitally
Pictogram of a mobile phone 44%
of respondents indicated they would prefer text message alerts from health care providers

Among survey respondents, 48 percent said they would be more likely to communicate with health care professionals if they were able to communicate digitally, an increase from 41 percent the previous year. A growing number — 44 percent — also indicated that they would prefer text message alerts from health care providers.

Digital engagement can be especially impactful for patients with complex, chronic conditions. For instance, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) try an average of three medications before they see a decrease in disease and 30 percent of biologics are initially unsuccessful and could lead to non-adherence and poor outcomes. However, targeted clinical support through digital channels at the right time have been proven to help patients stay on therapy.

The CVS Specialty technological infrastructure enables members to access the right support where and when they need it to better manage their condition. The ongoing addition of new tools and solutions continues to expand options members have to engage with their CareTeam and access care. Our analysis shows that for autoimmune conditions, which account for more than a third of our clients’ pharmacy spend, greater adoption of digital tools led to improved adherence.

Secure Messaging, Symptom Tracking Help Improve Outcomes

Symptom tracking and secure messaging, features offered through the CVS Specialty app, enable patients to engage digitally with their CareTeam and get the support they need.

Pictogram of a mobile phone 80%
of eligible specialty members are signed up to receive secure messaging.

Following a successful pilot among chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) patients in 2016, we expanded secure messaging to 29 other conditions. Of patients enrolled in a year-long pilot for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using smart watches, 96 percent uploaded health data, 86 percent reported their symptoms, and 75 percent took a walk test — a critical measure of whether the condition is well managed.

Symptom tracking was piloted among oncology patients. The pilot captured self-reported data and used digital tools to create real-time engagement and help patients navigate to the right level of care. Patients with cancer who digitally tracked their symptoms had a 4 percent increase in adherence. We are now expanding the pilot to include more symptoms for a range of conditions including autoimmune, MS, irritable bowel disease, HIV, hemophilia, hepatitis C, oncology and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Enhanced Personalization

Digital tools are tailored to each person's unique needs, and we continue to make them increasingly more personal. One upcoming enhancement includes remote monitoring through a connected, coordinated care management platform. The platform will offer a range of assessments that enable CareTeams to decide on the right support for the patient by better understanding what care they need.

Assessments include:

Checkmark Efficacy: Ensure patient is taking the right drug and identify medication waste by monitoring patient’s overall response to therapy
Checkmark Symptoms: Proactively monitor symptoms commonly associated with medications. Clinical pharmacists intervene to help members manage them
Checkmark Depression: Screen for risk of depression for relevant conditions and follow-up with provider for those who screen positive
Checkmark Pain: Condition-specific pain assessment to determine patient’s response to therapy
Checkmark Exacerbation: Assess potential progression of the condition with targeted interventions to ensure patient is on the right medication

Virtual Care Offers More Convenient Access

Consumers are also increasingly interested in virtual care options. Findings of the study — conducted before the coronavirus pandemic — showed that 32 percent of consumers were interested in receiving care via telehealth, a sharp increase from 18 percent just one year ago.

CVS Health MinuteClinic Video Visits, a virtual health care offering for patients with minor illnesses and injuries, skin conditions, and other wellness needs, is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week in many states. We also continue to expand availability of virtual visits through telehealth, enabling many individuals to access doctors to address medical and behavioral health concerns.

In addition, members with chronic conditions can also use our digital tools for better self-care. For instance, eligible members for plans enrolled in our Transform Diabetes Care program — part of the Transform Chronic Care suite — can monitor their blood glucose levels through a connected glucometer.

Want to learn how digital tools can improve outcomes and lower overall cost of care? Ask Us
BRIEFING
September 10, 2020
Executive Vice President, Specialty and Product Innovation, CVS Health

*Adherence represented by utilizing medication possession ratio for those enrolled in specialty digital program.

Data source, unless noted otherwise, CVS Health Enterprise Analytics, 2020.

The Transform Diabetes Care program is designed to combine customized diabetes support and clinical care for members with cost management strategies to reduce trend for diabetic drugs; projected savings and guarantee will vary by client, plan population’s demographics, other programs implemented by the client, current spending on diabetic drugs, and other factors.

CVS Health uses and shares data as allowed by applicable law, and by our agreements and our information firewall.

Image source: Licensed from Getty Images, 2020.