CVS debuting health programs a month after acquiring Aetna: 4 things to know

CVS Health is "already rolling out" new health programs and services after closing its roughly $70 billion acquisition of Aetna Nov. 28, CEO Larry Merlo said, according to Forbes contributor Bruce Japsen.

Four things to know:

1. According to slides presented at the J.P. Morgan 37th Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco Jan. 8, CVS said its integrated model aims to transform the consumer healthcare experience through the following services: retail/long-term care, pharmacy services and healthcare benefits.

2. CVS and Aetna are progressing on integration efforts despite a federal judge's pushback against the deal. In late December, the federal judge reviewing the merger said he will not require the companies to stop integrating most of their operations.

"Ongoing review and voluntary commitments will not impact our timeline for achieving targeted synergies," according to CVS.

3. As a "new front door" to the healthcare system, CVS said it aims to enhance the consumer experience by boosting engagement, improving health outcomes and lowering total healthcare costs. Its initiatives include a program, launched in the fourth quarter of 2018, that aims to provide adherence outreach and counseling to Aetna members who are at high risk of adverse events.

4. In the first quarter of 2019, CVS also said it will kick-start specialized services for Aetna members with cardiovascular disease. During the same time, it will pilot a readmission prevention program. Under the program, CVS intends to schedule MinuteClinic follow-ups within 14 days of discharge when patients are unable to see a physician.

When it comes to improving care for chronically ill patients, Mr. Merlo said, "the opportunity here is massive," according to Forbes.

To access CVS' slides detailing some of its new programs, click here.

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