CVS Plans 600 HealthHUBs in 2020

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman

CVS is rapidly scaling its store concept that devotes more space to services and offers expanded health clinics. The drugstore retailer plans to complete around 600 HealthHUBs this year, 1500 by the end of 2021, according to CEO Larry Merlo.

CVS launched its HealthHUB concept stores in the Houston, TX, area last year and ended 2019 with just over 50 HealthHUBs across four markets; Houston, Tampa, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“As you know this time last year we were in Houston, that was our first market,” Merlo said speaking at the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. “And as a result we have seen increased store traffic, higher front store margins, more MinuteClinic visits, as well as more prescriptions dispensed.”

Merlo spoke of the need to make healthcare local, noting that meanwhile you're hearing people talk about the demise of bricks and mortar.

“And we’re sitting here saying there is a physical role for bricks and mortar. But the challenge becomes how do you meet the needs of today's consumer. And we see HealthHUB as an evolution of the drugstore to meet those needs and become more of the health destination.”

About 75% of the U.S. population lives within a few miles of the CVS, so the HealthHUBs repurpose 20% of the front of store to more health related services. As to which stores will undergo the HealthHUB concept, Merlo said there is a direct link between the ZIP codes associated with Aetna membership and the locations of these HealthHUBs. CVS completed its acquisition of Aetna near the end of 2018.

To help drive more members into the HealthHUBs and into the CVS MinuteClinic is selling low cost and no co-pays and said by the end of 2020 about 2 million members will have zero co-pay or low co-pay. Additionally, CVS is using data and analytics from the healthcare segment to provide its pharmacists real-life data about the care of patients.

“So what we been doing, if we can reach an individual consumer, we send that data, that information to a pharmacists and they're connecting with our members,” explained Karen S. Lynch, EVP, CVS Health and president, Aetna Business Unit. “We established Care Concierge. We also have done a lot around expanding our services within the MinuteClinics and with the HealthHUBs through expanded labs services, expanded hours. And then we have wellness centers, really dedicated and isolated for activities like nutrition classes, yoga and really to address isolation in our Medicare patients as well.”

“We are using the power of real-time advanced data analytics, digital technology tools and a deep knowledge and expertise of what it takes to personalize the consumer experience,” said Merlo. “And if you think about our history and think about what we been able to do in the front end of our stores, we created this intersection between data analytics and technology with our extra care loyalty program and have delivered value to our customers in a very personalized and differentiated way.

“We're doing the same thing around health outcomes. We're calling it Next Best Action and for each and every one of us in this room that can mean something very different.”

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