USA – CVS Health has introduced a new Virtual Primary Care solution on a single digital platform to provide a more coordinated and consumer-centric health care experience.

The new offering, which is currently being sold to Aetna fully-insured, self-insured plan sponsors, and CVS Caremark clients, will be available to eligible Aetna members on January 1, 2023, and to eligible CVS Caremark members in the second quarter of 2023.

CVS Health notes in its announcement that it takes an average of 24 days to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician – and that the wait time for mental health professionals is typically double that.

CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will provide members with virtual access to primary care, on-demand care, chronic condition management, and mental health services, with the option of being seen in-person at an in-network provider, including MinuteClinic, when necessary.

If necessary, the virtual primary care provider can also assist members in locating appropriate in-network specialists and other in-network health service providers.

CVS Health Virtual Primary Care is intended to assist members in scheduling convenient virtual appointments with their Care Team.

Physician-led Care Team

CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will include a physician-led Care Team comprised of member-selected nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and licensed vocational nurses who will be easily accessible via the platform.

When necessary, the Care Team will consult with a dedicated CVS pharmacist, which may provide opportunities for medication management.

CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will also use an interoperable electronic health record to assist members in transitioning between virtual and in-person care, and clinical data can be shared with other providers.

A comprehensive view of data and care activity will enable providers to send personalized health alerts that will help providers close gaps in care and maintain wellness.

Benefits to Aetna and Caremark members

With the introduction of CVS Health Virtual Primary Care, Aetna is offering plan sponsors more benefit options to meet their member’s evolving needs.

Furthermore, Caremark members will now have a solution that will allow them to access more CVS Health services and capabilities.

By combining health services, a coordinated Care Team and clinical data on a single digital platform, CVS Health Virtual Primary Care will help all members receive health guidance and care coordination that directs them to the lowest cost, clinically appropriate care.

Even before their US$68 billion merger in 2018, CVS and Aetna had been refining and expanding their virtual and in-person offerings separately and together, dating back to 2014 with CVS MinuteClinic and its extensive network of major US health systems.

MinuteClinic launched an app-based telehealth offering built on the Teladoc platform in 2018. This year saw the launch of Aetna’s own CVS Health-linked Virtual Primary Care platform.

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