HealthHUB pilot outlets offer more health care services
HOUSTON — CVS Health has unveiled a new health-focused store concept here that’s designed to help the pharmacy chain become more of a health-care provider.
The three HealthHUB pilot stores that opened in the Houston area in December are part of the company’s vision for its $70 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna. In addition to the pharmacy, each store has an expanded health clinic, with a lab for blood testing and health screenings. There are also wellness rooms for yoga and seminars, dietitians and respiratory specialists in the HealthHUBs.
“We have a sense of urgency about the need to bring real change to health care,” said Kevin Hourican, executive vice president at CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy. “What’s clear to us is that it will take more than incremental steps to fix what is broken in the health care system. 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.”
In the new stores, less space is dedicated to greeting cards, seasonal items and general merchandise, Hourican said. Customers can still find toys, chocolate, ice cream and alcohol. But they contain more health-focused products, including durable medical equipment and supplies for asthma, diabetes care and sleep apnea.
More than 20% of the floor space at the concept stores is devoted to health care services, including wellness products and personalized care. Pharmacists in the HealthHUB stores will also make regular calls and in-person consultations with certain patients to help them stay on track with their prescription drug plans.
Consumers can check their blood pressure, weight and body mass index at a kiosk inside the store. They can also consult with a dietitian, who can connect them to Noom, an online weight-loss service.
“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. “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.”
CVS will use the three HealthHUB pilot stores in the Houston area to test the new services. Hourican said CVS won’t turn all of its stores into HealthHUBs but will likely take individual pieces and roll them out across more stores if they’re successful.
“We’re pleased and surprised pleasantly with the ecosystem of health care that we’ve created here and how approachable it is, how much people are interested in it and there are certain things we can take to all stores,” Hourican said.