Episode #79 – Creating Consumer-Centric Care with Alan Lotvin MD of CVS Health

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Today’s episode shares unique insights into one of the most powerful examples of transformation occurring in the American healthcare market. The leadership at CVS Health has been intentionally curating an expansive and comprehensive approach to healthcare delivery – specifically in the arena of chronic disease management, which makes up the vast majority of encounters and dollars spent in healthcare.

By way of quick background, CVS Health – previously the CVS Corporation – was renamed in 2014, following a landmark strategic decision to remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from its shelves. Its assets now include:

  1. One of the largest payers in the country (Aetna), and its accompanying state-of-the-art consumer analytic and population health analytic capabilities;
  2. CVS Minute Clinic, a provider arm which has now been greatly expanded with HealthHubs;
  3. CVS Pharmacy, one of the largest retail pharmacy chains, including its Specialty pharmacy;
  4. CVS Caremark, one of the largest pharmacy benefits managers in the US.

Our guest this week is Dr. Alan Lotvin, who, at the time of this interview was Executive Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for CVS Health. On Feb 12, 2020, one day prior to the posting of this episode, Dr. Lotvin was appointed President of CVS Caremark, the largest division of CVS Health. This represents a significant opportunity and is a measure of the trust the organization places in him. He will also have oversight of CVS Specialty and CVS Kidney Care. Dr. Lotvin has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical benefit management and specialty pharmacy industries. He began his career as a practicing cardiologist in New Jersey. He holds a master’s degree in Medical Informatics from Columbia University and also holds a US Patent for Circulatory Valve Repair.

In this interview, you’ll hear:

  • How CVS Health is constructing a consumer-centric healthcare system – making it easier, affordable and more convenient to stay healthy.
  • The broad swath of chronic diseases that CVS Health plans to manage.
  • CVS Health’s differentiating value proposition and its new positioning in the larger delivery ecosystem.
  • How the vertical assets of CVS Health are enabling it to create and optimize value-based health services.
  • How CVS Health is using its multiple sources of data and it’s powerhouse consumer analytics to improve patient engagement and health outcomes.

CVS Health represents one of the most remarkable stories in the annals of American healthcare.  As described in my book on Reframing Healthcare, I consider CVS Health to be one of the poster childs for what a consumer-oriented, value-based healthcare approach should be. What you will hear woven throughout this interview is a story of a purposeful leadership team committed to creating care that is safe, effective, convenient, easy to use and navigate, all while being affordable. It is also a story of leadership that has been forward thinking enough to invest heavily in the most cutting edge analytics to identify patients in need and proactively assist them in accessing the care they need to stay healthy.

There is another facet of this story that also needs to be underscored. The CVS Health approach is a collaborative one. Dr. Lotvin refers to “collaborative partnership agreements” and “open platform models” of care. He points out that while healthcare is highly competitive, there is also the opportunity to cooperate – the notion of ‘coopetition’. This understanding also points toward the direction I believe American healthcare should be heading – toward a more open ecosystem of care rather than the closed legacy system models and platforms of the past. The ‘ecosystem economy’ is upon us, and we, in healthcare, have the unique opportunity to actually contribute to creating a more connected, agile and responsive system of healthcare.  I’ll leave you with a quote from Dr. Lotvin which captures this overarching sentiment.

“There is so much opportunity for us to do the right thing for patients and consumers, and really improve healthcare… We need to be tenacious and get through all the problems because the opportunity is really there to do important work that will benefit people, benefit society and benefit the people who are able to do it well. It’s the proverbial win for everyone.” 

Until Next Time, Be Well.

Zeev Neuwirth MD