CVS Caremark to expand diabetes program to preventive, hypertension care

CVS Pharmacy
CVS announced plans to expand its Transform Diabetes Care program. (Mike Mozart/CC BY 2.0)

CVS Caremark is growing its diabetes care program with the goal of greater prevention, the company announced Tuesday. 

CVS’ pharmacy benefit manager first launched Transform Diabetes Care (TDC) in December 2016 and since then has seen notable results: More than half of members enrolled in the program went from uncontrolled to controlled diabetes status. 

In addition, members’ HbA1c levels improved by an average of 1.2 percentage points in the program.  

The TDC platform includes remote monitoring tools, personalized guidance and interventions and connections with local services to assist insurers that contract with Caremark in better managing diabetes in their membership. Now, Caremark is aiming to grow the program to include people at risk for diabetes and those who experience comorbid hypertension. 

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“Successful diabetes management requires a comprehensive model of care management support for those members with diabetes, as well as a proactive strategy to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes,” Troy Brennan, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS Health, wrote in a brief on the program’s expansion. 

“Doing so can help payors improve their members’ health, avoid future complications, and reduce medical costs relative to one of the most prevalent and complex disease states within their population,” he wrote. 

As part of the expansion, CVS Caremark will offer analytics tools that can assist payers in identifying members with prediabetes or who are at risk for comorbid hypertension. An estimated 90% of people with prediabetes—which can be reversed—are unaware they have it, Brennan wrote in the brief. 

Members who are enrolled in the prediabetes program will be given a digital scale, access to a 12-month diabetes prevention plan that is app-based and health coaching from experts based on the members’ needs. Participants will also be able to visit CVS MinuteClinics for screenings and other services as needed.

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The goal is to see at least half of participants lose at least 5% of their starting weight, CVS said. 

Under the hypertension module, members will be given a digitally connected blood pressure cuff, access to an app-based management plan and connections with health coaches. The cuff will be able to automatically read the member’s blood pressure and then send that data to a secure platform that they can later access online. 

Two metabolic visits to MinuteClinics will also be included at no extra cost, CVS said. 

“Hypertension is twice as frequent in patients with diabetes compared with those who do not have diabetes,” Brennan wrote. “Once our proprietary analytics engine identifies members with hypertension, we can offer them targeted support to help them manage the condition whether on its own or as a comorbidity in conjunction with diabetes.”