CVS Health's Merlo touts Aetna integration, opening of concept store

Speaking to investors at the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Tuesday, CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo said the company is launching a specialized program to help support Aetna members being treated for cardiovascular disease to prevent avoidable hospital readmissions.

Speaking to investors at the 37th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference Tuesday, CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo said the company is launching a specialized program to help support Aetna members being treated for cardiovascular disease to prevent avoidable hospital readmissions. "We are also piloting a program that leverages CVS pharmacists to provide face-to-face interactions and educate Aetna members on the available care management programs, as well provide patient-specific strategies to migrate the risk of nonadherence, side effects or gaps in care," Merlo said. He added that while it has only been 6 weeks since CVS closed its merger with Aetna, "we are absolutely off and running. We are opening a series of health care concept stores, which will be a testing ground for a new retail engagement model that brings health care services to consumers in a more convenient and accessible and consumer-focused manner. As we pilot the new program and service offerings, we will identify the solutions that are most effective and scalable, and roll them more broadly across our footprint." In February, CVS Health is opening its first concept store in Houston. Among some of the services that will be tested are new health-and-wellness categories in the front of the store and enhanced personalized prescription services in the pharmacy.