CVS Looks to Technology to Improve Health
The company says a new tech partnership will bolster its multifaceted efforts to create healthier communities.
A new initiative aims to link certain Aetna members to local resources, such as transportation or community gardens.(GETTY IMAGES)
IT CAN BE DIFFICULT FOR people to focus on improving their health when they have to worry about obtaining quality food, reliable transportation or safe housing.
A new effort from CVS Health aims to ease those concerns for some.
“Our goal is to make health part of a person’s everyday life,” says Karen Lynch, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of Aetna, the insurance giant recently acquired by CVS.
As part of its new “Destination: Health” initiative, CVS Health is collaborating with Unite Us, a technology and social care coordination company, to link certain Aetna members to services and resources within their community, such as transportation or healthy community gardens.
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Aetna Medicaid members in Louisville, Kentucky – along with members of a plan who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare in Tampa, Florida, and southeastern Louisiana – will be able to use Unite Us technology this year to find these resources, while some may be referred by community health providers or nurse case managers. If pilot projects in these areas are successful, CVS hopes to expand the Unite Us partnership to encompass 2 million Medicaid members, Lynch says.
The goal: Help people by addressing needs tied to social determinants of health, meaning aspects of everyday life – like nutrition or housing – that drive a person’s health and well-being.
“Our mission is to connect individuals and families across the United States to the services they need through collaboration with local service providers, shared infrastructure, and an inclusive approach for those in need,” Taylor Justice, co-founder and president of Unite Us, said in a release.
Unite Us recently partnered with Kaiser Permanente on a similar initiative.
The “Destination: Health” platform also encompasses an announcement earlier this year by CVS Health of its “Building Healthier Communities” initiative – a five-year, $100 million commitment by CVS Health and the CVS Health and Aetna foundations to support programs and partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations.