CVS Diabetes Management Program Aims to Slash Costs


Here's how this pharmacy chain is helping patients with diabetes better manage their disease.

CVS Health is the latest pharmacy chain to add programs to help customers better manage their diabetes.

Last summer, Walgreens and HealthPrize Technologies partnered on a digital game designed to help people with diabetes stick to their medications. Participating patients are offered weekly condition-related quizzes and surveys, daily health tips and fun facts, leaderboards and competitions. Plus, they get daily medication prompts via email or SMS – whichever they prefer – monthly refill reminders and medication adherence scorecards.

While the program is first being offered to those with diabetes, Walgreens may expand to other conditions.

This January, CVS launched Transform Diabetes Care, a program that aims to cut diabetic patients’ medical costs by improving medication adherence, A1C control and lifestyle management.

Available to CVS’s pharmacy benefit management (PBM) patients, Transform Diabetes Care is designed to improve the health outcomes of their members and “lower pharmacy costs through aggressive trend management and decrease medical costs by improving medication adherence, A1C control and lifestyle management,” CVS said in a statement.

The program offers a single-digit guarantee for diabetes drugs to participating patients. “In fact, participating clients could save between $3,000 to $5,000 per year for each member who successfully improves control of their diabetes,” CVS said.

"In 2016 anti-diabetic drugs were the leading driver of gross costs for our clients," said Jonathan Roberts, president of CVS Caremark. "The Transform Diabetes Care program will enable us to help our clients manage the unsustainable increases in the cost of diabetes care by maximizing the value and effectiveness of our engagement with patients to improve clinical outcomes, while also employing strategic approaches to actively manage and control costs."  

CVS also touted the program’s managed pharmacy network, which includes all CVS Pharmacy locations along with the CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. “This will help simplify medication refills, improve coordination of care with the member's primary care providers and help members stay engaged with their therapy and additional clinical services offered by the program,” CVS said.

The program provides tailored support for members with diabetes and incorporates both clinical care and cost management solutions. “What's unique about this program is that, at CVS Health, we are able to marshal resources across our enterprise and provide a high level of personalized support and care via multiple touch points,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health. Dr. Brennan refers to face-to-face counseling at 9,600 pharmacy locations and more than 1,100 MinuteClinic locations.

Plus, the retailer’s Health Engagement Engine helps pharmacists and others identify and prompt personalized counseling opportunities. The interventions are delivered to members, at no extra cost, either in person at CVS Pharmacy or by phone. Members in the program will also receive free comprehensive diabetes visits at MinuteClinic locations, including A1C checks.

“Enrolled members will receive highly personalized support and coaching to help improve medication adherence, better track and control A1C levels and support healthy lifestyle behaviors through CVS Health consumer touch points,” CVS said.

Members will also be offered a connected glucometer, which will share their blood glucose levels with a pharmacist-led team via a health cloud, “enabling the team to identify potential issues and intervene with one-on-one coaching”, CVS said.

Members can also use the digital tools within the CVS Pharmacy mobile app, such as medication refill reminders and the ability to refill a prescription via two-way text messaging, to help reduce the complexity of daily disease management.

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