How CVS Health boosts patient education, care access

Photo courtesy of CVS Health

Though the Affordable Care Act has improved patients’ access to healthcare coverage and ensured that millions who did not have insurance now have coverage, many patients--especially in underserved areas--still do not see their doctors regularly.

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In response, CVS Health has launched a number of programs that target these potentially uninformed or underserved populations to increase their access to care and better educate patients on their health, according to an article from Triple Pundit. Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy for CVS Health, told the publication that educating this group of patients must be a goal for the healthcare industry.

“By increasing access to quality care for the underserved populations, patients become more aware of their overall health and the resources available to them to properly take care of themselves and manage their conditions, which can ultimately lower healthcare costs across the county,” Boone, who is also president of the CVS Health Foundation, told the publication,

One of CVS Health’s major initiatives has been its MinuteClinics, which operate in 33 states and the District of Columbia and offer quick, low-cost primary care. Boone said that the MinuteClinics were designed to respond to patient demand and help to fill in care gaps that often lead to unneeded emergency room visits. Boone said CVS Health will continue to expand the reach of its clinics by offering more integrated telehealth services to connect with more remote patients.

CVS Health also launched the “Prescription for a Better World” corporate social responsibility strategy to tackle social determinants of health and assist patient populations with common public health issues like obesity. Part of that approach includes the Project Health programs, which offers free screenings to minority patients like cholesterol and body mass index, Boone said, and patients who need medical attention are referred to a local facility or their primary care doctor at no cost.