CVS Well being CEO and President Larry Merlo introduced plans for his future retirement on Friday, with Aetna President Karen Lynch slated to take the helm in February. The deliberate transition will happen because the retail big continues to mix its respective companies and add new Covid-19 testing websites. Listed below are 4 takeaways from Friday’s earnings name:
- Covid-19 testing attracts new prospects to CVS shops
CVS Well being has opened 4,000 Covid-19 testing websites and plans so as to add extra by the top of the yr. To this point, it has administered greater than six million assessments thus far.
“If we advised you a yr in the past that thus far, six million individuals would have gone to their native CVS Pharmacy for a diagnostic take a look at associated to some virus, we’d in all probability get an eyeball roll,” CEO Larry Merlo stated in a Friday earnings name. “The fact is, that occurred. And it actually speaks to the technique that we’ve talked about, by way of assembly individuals the place they’re.”
Like a lot of its friends, CVS additionally started providing testing providers for corporations and colleges. To this point, it has drummed up greater than 70 shoppers for its Return Prepared service.
In an investor name on Friday, CVS CEO Larry Merlo stated testing has additionally introduced some new prospects to the corporate. 70% of these examined at its pharmacies and 40% of its enterprise shoppers weren’t beforehand CVS prospects.
Merlo had much less specifics to share in regards to the firm’s plans for administering a possible Covid-19 vaccine. The Division of Well being and Human Providers introduced that it might work with CVS and Walgreens to manage vaccines to residents of long-term care services, however no vaccine has but obtained an emergency use authorization.
- CVS continues to give attention to HealthHUB technique, however the pandemic has slowed openings
Final yr, CVS Well being announced plans to open 1,500 HealthHUB shops by 2021 — a reworked model of its shops with extra space devoted to well being providers. Along with extra examination area for CVS’ MinuteClinics, the idea shops embody phlebotomy providers, a wellness area for health or vitamin lessons, and extra shelf area devoted to well being merchandise.
An enormous a part of the technique is providing extra providers for sufferers with continual circumstances. To this point, Merlo stated the corporate had seen practically twice as many MinuteClinic visits for continual providers, a complete of 16%. Subsequent yr, CVS plans to supply in-person behavioral well being providers at these websites.
The pandemic has slowed the corporate’s plans a bit bit. Now, CVS hope to have 1,300 open by the top of the yr. It presently has 450 HealthHUBs in 30 states.
- Prescription gross sales fluctuate; cough and chilly gross sales down
As sufferers went in for fewer appointments throughout the early months of the pandemic, CVS noticed a dip in new prescriptions. However in September, the corporate noticed an uptick in exercise as members refilled 90-day prescriptions, Lisa Gill, a managing director and senior analyst for JP Morgan, wrote in a analysis be aware.
In the meantime, as the general public heeded recommendation to get a flu shot, flu vaccines spiked in September and October. Notably, gross sales for cough and chilly merchandise on the entrance of shops have been down. MinuteClinic visits and prescriptions for flu-like signs have been additionally decrease in comparison with final yr, CFO Eva Boratto stated.
- Medicare Benefit continues to be a giant focus
With open enrollment now underway, Aetna — and lots of different insurers — will probably be pushing to achieve extra Medicare Benefit members. As of September, the CVS subsidiary had 2.69 million Medicare Advantage members, a rise from 2.3 million on the identical time final yr.
For 2021, Aetna launched a brand new low-cost Medicare half D plan, which it expects may develop its Medicare Benefit membership sooner or later.
“The product is designed for a sure set of people that we imagine can in the end and will probably be focused on transferring to Medicare,” Lynch stated in an earnings name.
This yr, the corporate is on observe to transform greater than 40,000 half D plan members to a Medicare Benefit plan, Merlo stated.
The corporate additionally has seen vital development in its Medicaid membership, up 5.2% from the second quarter. Lynch stated a giant a part of that was because of states suspending eligibility redeterminations throughout the pandemic.
“We anticipate to proceed to see unemployment. We anticipate to see will increase in Medicaid enrollment because of that as properly,” she stated. “Medicaid is a crucial enterprise for us. It does have the chance for development. It’s strategically positioned as an essential enterprise and we hope to proceed to develop that asset.”
Picture credit score: Justin Sullivan/Getty Pictures