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CVS Health launches HealthHub services within its pharmacies

The pilot program for expanded services and medical equipment is being tested at three locations in Houston.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

David Fitzgerald of CVS Health and Bill Fox of MarkLogic, take part in a lively discussion on healthcare during lunch at HIMSS19. Photo by Jann Hendry PhotographyDavid Fitzgerald of CVS Health and Bill Fox of MarkLogic, take part in a lively discussion on healthcare during lunch at HIMSS19. Photo by Jann Hendry Photography

As the industry awaits CVS Health's earnings call on Wednesday - the first after acquiring Aetna - the pharmacy healthcare provider has announced a pilot project for three HealthHUB locations within retail stores in Houston.

Under the new format, over 20 percent of these stores are now dedicated to health services, including durable medical equipment and new products such as for sleep apnea and diabetes care, CVS Health announced last week.

Each HealthHUB has "Learning Tables" that include iPads for customers to explore health and wellness apps, and the ability to shop CVS's expanded product selection online. On-demand health kiosks help customers measure and track their blood pressure, weight and BMI. There's wellness rooms and a care concierge service for customer engagement.

This is on top of expanded wellness options already being offered for minor injuries and illnesses and other services through CVS's walk-in MinuteClinics.

"With personalized pharmacy support programs and MinuteClinic services, the HUB team is improving care for patients managing chronic conditions, with a focus on recommending next best clinical actions and driving medical costs savings," CVS said.

THE IMPACT

The focus on health and well-being shows that CVS has amped up its position in joining the trend towards consumerism. CVS has an estimated 9,800 stores across the country, which can now conveniently offer many of the same services being provided by urgent care clinics associated with health systems.

"CVS is not there to take patients away from primary care," said David Fitzgerald, enterprise planning architect, Office of the CTO at CVS Health.

Fitzgerald made his comment during at a lunch during HIMSS19, where the conversation was more focused on data for better patient care coordination.

"The silver bullet is the longitudinal patient record," Fitzgerald said.

The combination of CVS\Aetna is really about harnessing data to do a better job of caring for patients, said Bill Fox, vice president of MarkLogic, who also attended the lunch.

THE TREND

Pharmacies have been expanding their reach, especially as they feel competition from Amazon, which last year bought online pharmacy company PillPack for prescription deliveries.

Walgreens recently partnered with FedEx for next day delivery of prescription drugs.

CVS Health last summer also announced next-day delivery service.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
Email the writer: susan.morse@himssmedia.com