CVS digital strategies due to COVID-19 helped drive strong first quarter

CVS Health’s underlying main overall performance for the very first quarter was potent, driven in huge component by the company’s shopper-centric digital technique all through the COVID-19 pandemic, CEO and President Larry Merlo claimed Wednesday all through the earnings call.

The use of telemedicine for virtual visits as a result of MinuteClinic was up 600% as opposed to the very first quarter of 2019.

Retail prescription residence supply improved by far more than 1,000%. In addition, CVS observed a four-fold maximize in consumers incorporating entrance-of-the store products to their prescription deliveries.

In specialty pharmacy, digital refills have been up about 50%, Merlo claimed.

The Aetna Wellness app engaged far more homes in Q1 than in the very first a few quarters of 2019.

CVS opened huge scale COVID-19 screening web pages across 5 states all through the quarter and is establishing other folks, with the focus on of having screening in 1,000 spots by the conclude of Could. By Could four, the business experienced administered shut to 90,000 tests with real-time final results.

WHY THIS Matters

COVID-19 has sped up use of the digital practical experience and in particular, telehealth.

The digital practical experience owing to COVID-19 could become the new norm, according to Merlo.

“And in conjunction with added actions these kinds of as soothing regulation, we are observing a new standard emerge,” Merlo claimed. “And in the around foreseeable future, there will be an evaluation point of what worked and what didn’t. And as a outcome, we be expecting that components of present day new norm will become component of tomorrow’s day-to-day routines.”

Fiscal Effects

CVS described very first-quarter net money of $2 billion, as opposed with $1.four billion in the very first quarter of 2019.

CVS’s overall performance demonstrates an acceleration of prescriptions dispensed, potent entrance store product sales, and a modest reduction in discretionary health-related utilization, all largely driven by COVID-19, the business claimed.

Aside from the pandemic, Q1 final results demonstrate the continued achievements of CVS’s built-in healthcare technique. This includes the addition of Aetna in 2018.

Medicare Gain plan growth grew by 11.3%, outpacing the marketplace common.

CVS also observed Medicaid membership growth, driven generally by the acquisition of IlliniCare. The potent govt growth aligns with what other well being insurers are reporting in Q1.

Commercial membership was down, generally owing to a drop in labor, caused by the pandemic.

THE Larger Development

Offered the likelihood of significant variability in the effect of COVID-19, CVS withdrew added direction for 2020.

All groups are expected to be down in April, soon after a peak in March, CVS claimed.

For illustration, Aetna observed a drop-off of about 30% in the use of healthcare services in April, as elective processes have been postponed, but the deficiency of latest procedure could outcome in larger utilization later on.


“When going through any well being crisis, including this pandemic, we’re uniquely positioned to fully grasp shopper and affected person requires and how to tackle them. This includes growing accessibility to medicine and virtual care, and screening hundreds for the virus each and every day to completely ready our place to reopen properly,” CVS Wellness President and CEO Larry J. Merlo claimed.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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