Will CVS’s HealthHUB concept change what consumers expect of drugstores?
Since CVS made the dramatic announcement that it would no longer sell cigarettes in 2014, the drugstore chain has been focused on establishing itself as a healthcare provider. Now, CVS is looking to further ingrain that perception in the minds of consumers in the Houston area with the test launch of the chain’s first three HealthHUB concept stores.
“We believe that transforming the consumer health care experience begins with creating a new front door to health care,” said Alan Lotvin, chief transformation officer for CVS Health, in a statement. “Our new HealthHUB locations are just that — helping to elevate the store into a convenient neighborhood health care destination that brings easier access to better care at a lower cost.”
Each location will dedicate over 20 percent of its footprint to health services and products, including durable medical equipment (DME) and new product and service combinations for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea.
A primary feature of each location will be the Care Concierge, a professional tasked with engaging with customers in order to educate them about services offered on-site and to connect them with other providers. In early testing, CVS reports that 95 percent of customers have accepted help from the Care Concierge with half of those either interacting with a HealthHUB provider or taking advantage of a related offer.
Each store will emphasize patient support programs to manage chronic conditions through its pharmacies and, where applicable, its MinuteClinic facilities. The nurse practitioners who staff the MinuteClinics will be given the space and resources to offer additional services such as screening for diabetes, phlebotomy and sleep apnea assessments.
The HealthHUB stores are equipped with digital kiosks and “Learning Tables” with iPads to help consumers do everything from taking their blood pressure to investigating various health. Each location also includes community spaces designed to host group events, from classes on nutrition to yoga.
CVS management believes that it can reshape how healthcare is delivered in the U.S. through the combined efforts of its drugstores, the Caremark pharmacy benefits manager business and Aetna, the health insurer acquired last November.
“What’s clear to us is that it will take more than incremental steps to fix what is broken in the healthcare system,” said Kevin Hourican, EVP, CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy. “That’s why we’re excited about how the combination of CVS and Aetna can begin to establish an innovative health care model that will create an entirely new consumer experience and help people on their path to better health.”
- CVS Health Testing New HealthHUB Format – CVS Health
- CVS introduces new concept with more health care, less retail – USA Today
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for CVS in operating its HealthHUB concept stores? Do you think the HealthHUB concept will change consumers’ expectations of what a drugstore experience should be? Will consumers be happier with the status quo?