The healthcare landscape is continually bubbling with new propositions and evolving solutions to address specific challenges and rising costs.
National health expenditures are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 5.5% and will represent 19.4 percent of gross domestic product by 2027. The expected increase provides an opportunity for retail pharmacies, such as Walgreens and CVS, to stand out among competitors and fill certain gaps in the system by administering medical services to customers’ suffering from chronic disease. Managing Principal David Pittard at OneDigital Atlanta discusses the pharmacies’ move toward chronic care medical-services and the implications on the greater healthcare industry in, “Chronic Conditions Treatment at CVS, Walgreens: Experts React,” published by Managed Healthcare Executive.
As CVS references, brick and mortar retail stores are losing market-share for convenience consumer goods; thus, their physical locations must evolve to remain relevant beyond episodic medication fill. This reality coupled with a desire to capitalize on the acquired insured population with Aetna is the genesis of why CVS is taking this step. The feeling is more that there are assets that need to be reinvented than CVS is modernizing healthcare delivery.
An interesting consideration for health plan sponsors, especially those with Aetna, is will CVS capture more drug fills within its retail stores as a result of engagements with the HealthHUB concierges? If so, this could increase drug pricing for the plans as CVS has historically been one of the higher cost retail providers; and, the HealthHUB model could deter members from considering lower cost pharmacy options, such as Walmart, Costco or Amazon.
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To find out more about chronic conditions care and coverage, reach out to your OneDigital Consultant.