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This is the CVS of the future



In November, CVS completed the acquisition of Aetna, the largest healthcare deal in history, worth 69 billion dollars. CVS has now piloted three HealthHub stores in Houston with a package of health services that could be the pharmacy of the future. CVS ) The ambitious plan of Chief Executive Larry Merlo to turn 9,800 stores into a "health destination". CVS wants to fence its expanded network of stores with a number of anti-competitive health services from Amazon AMZN ) and a wave of mergers in the industry.

"The service component will be an element that is difficult to replicate online," Merlo said at a conference last year.

CVS already has 1
100 walks at MinuteClinics that offer basic strep throat or ear infections. But HealthHub's stores are much better equipped to deal with patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and respiratory diseases. Renewed stores, with on-site nutritionists, nursing practitioners, laboratory offices, and medical supplies on the shelves, signal that CVS wants to move its stores beyond food and toothpaste.

"Do you have to have half a line for greeting cards? Probably not, and how many different types of shampoos do you need?" – said Lisa Gil, a health analyst at JP Morgan.

Houston stores replace the weaker sections as greeting cards with 20% more space for health products such as asthma and sleep apnea and iPads that study health and wellness applications. [19659909] "This is a natural evolution as they have recently bought Aetna," says Ross Muken, an analyst at Evercore ISI, CVS wants to present a "holistic approach to healthcare," he added. Spiral Health Care Costs

CVS begins with a great advantage, for years she has been pursuing health care: she has bought a pharmacy product manager, Caremark, more than a decade ago. In 2014, she bought Omnicare to expand her activity to chronic patients

This is the largest pharmacy chain in the country and almost 70% of the US population lives within three miles of a CVS shop

The healthcare professionals of the company plus 30,000 people also make their health strategy credible to consumers: "In the healthcare system, one of the most trusted counselors is the pharmacist," Gil says.

CVS bought Aetna to create a giant customer base: it collects health care premiums of around 39 million Americans. The company believes that the acquisition will help reduce costs and increase profits from these plans.

But these stores will face a competition from emergency clinics that appear throughout the country, as well as retailers such as Walmart, who also play a role in healthcare.

  The United States spend twice as much on healthcare as its peers

CVS sets zero in patients with chronic illnesses as a key way to reduce costs. Patients with chronic illnesses are the most expensive for US insurance. Five conditions account for about 80% of the 3.5 trillion dollars of annual healthcare costs: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, asthma, and mental health.

"Here we see a great opportunity: Individuals with diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular disease – we know their name," said Merlot last year. "They do not achieve their best health." Houston stores will also have more rooms for treating patients, as well as hours for health and nutrition seminars. For example, in Houston there is a class with the American Heart Association.

While Houston stores will not have on-site doctors, CVS teamed with TelaDoc, a virtual healthcare platform linking physicians and patients. Avoid traveling with EP

patients coming to her shops for lesser conditions instead of going to the emergency room, which is the most expensive option for caring for insurers like Aetna. Excursions to the emergency can bring thousands of dollars to suppliers at each visit.

"Think about the number of visits that end in the emergency room," Merlo said. – They could be seen in a retail clinic with a fraction of the price.

  HealthHub's stores are much better equipped to deal with patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and respiratory diseases.

The company plans a "Voice and Negotiation Approach" to remodel stores across the country

CVS is still figuring out how it will look at the hub stores Regionally by region, CVS says it will decide what conditions are best -which are distributed in communities and what are health services that can reduce costs. "If there is a community in which With a high level of diabetes, they will have experts in the stores that offer work, customer places to get supplies, weight loss jobs, and check the insulin level, "says Muken, [19659019] Many Americans support Medicare for all but not universal ” data-src-mini=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-small-169.jpg” data-src-xsmall=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-medium-plus-169.jpg” data-src-small=”http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-large-169.jpg” data-src-medium=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-exlarge-169.jpg” data-src-large=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-super-169.jpg” data-src-full16x9=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-full-169.jpg” data-src-mini1x1=”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190122194749-20190122-healthcare-for-all-kaiser-poll-small-11.jpg” data-demand-load=”not-loaded” data-eq-pts=”mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781″ src=”data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP///////wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI+py+0Po5yUFQA7″/>

Some stores will offer visual and hearing readings or blood pressure while others may have blood laboratories and to offer vaccines. In addition, a pilot with SmileDirectClub offers dental services in six stores.

Trips to clinics increase CVS's profits and enable it to pour money into creating more competitive health insurance plans through Aetna. paying for a customer visit rather than writing a check for a visit to the EP. 90% of cases when patients visit a primary care clinic will get a prescription, Gil says.

So CVS will fill these prescriptions. And if customers stay on until the pharmacy replenishes their recipe, CVS hopes to shop at the recipe add-on shop or one of CVS's new healthy snacks.

CNN Business Tami Luhby to this story.


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