Bloomfield, CT. – In a recent press release, Cigna and CVS have announced a new partnership that will bring new benefits to all of Cigna’s plan members. This new partnership will bring discounts and open new access to CVS’s minute-clinics – removing the potential burden from your typical urgent care and opening options to not only receive care, but take advantage of additional offerings at the pharmacy.

“From the consumer perspective, the ability to save some money when accessing health benefits and/or purchasing ‘everyday’ products — i.e., vitamins, pain relievers — as well as having another, lower cost and potentially more convenient option for routine healthcare via the MinuteClinic versus an urgent care center is appealing,” -Vanessa Hatch, Pharm.D., vice president of clinical solutions for PSG Insights & Consulting.

Patient engagement continues to be a challenge many payers attempt to overcome. New tools as well as the ability to have easier access to tools and healthcare are key in engagement.

“The most appealing part of this partnership for me is the enhanced ability to engage patients and educate them about other programs/services offered as part of their health care benefits. Patients trust pharmacists, and if CVS is able to train their pharmacists to effectively engage the patient and highlight the value of these other services like health and wellness coaches, then you may see higher engagement rates from patients without constantly chasing people on the phone or with text/email messages. One of the biggest problems for carriers like Cigna is effectively engaging patients, which is traditionally and primarily done on the phone or via electronic or mail messaging.” - Nick Taylor, senior pharmacy benefits consultant for The Segal Group

Why This Matters:

It is interesting to see the rise of the pharmacy as a more important role in the overall healthcare eco-system. As this partnership evolves, it will be interesting to see what the sharing of data will do to help the initial programs and tools put into place and if the overall engagement is increased for Cigna’s plan members. 

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.