CVS Health Creates "Transform Diabetes Care"

CVS' Transform Diabetes Care program calls for the use of analytics to identify opportunities for behavioral change or new treatment. The pharmacy benefit manager says it hopes to save clients between $3000 and $5000 annually per member with diabetes.

Clients of CVS Health can benefit from Transform Diabetes Care, a new program that seeks to deploy analytics to improve population health management for those with diabetes under the umbrella of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM).

The company said the program seeks to cut pharmacy costs by tracking glycated hemoglobin (A1C) and behavioral change, all through “trend management” that will take what’s learned during face-to-face encounters at pharmacies and MinuteClinics to identify opportunities for outreach or treatment improvements.

Transform Diabetes Care will start in early 2017 and will involve CVS' 9600 retail pharmacies and 1100 Minute Clinics, according to a company statement.

“Enrolled members will receive personalized support and coaching, designed to help improve medication adherence, better track and control A1C levels and support healthy lifestyle behaviors through CVS Health consumer touch points,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday.

CVS Health predicts that its PBM clients could save $3000 to $5000 per year for each member who successfully improves control of his or her diabetes. The company notes that antidiabetic drugs were the “leading driver” of gross costs for its clients in 2016. Transform Diabetes Care is designed to “help our clients manage the unsustainable increases in the cost of diabetes care by maximizing the value and effectiveness of our engagement with patients to improve clinical outcomes, while also employing strategic approaches to actively manage and control costs.”

While the statement doesn’t mention rising insulin costs, this has been a hot topic since the American Diabetes Association asked Congress to investigate why prices tripled between 2002 and 2013. As the US population ages—and more Americans struggle with obesity and diabetes—the number of people who need insulin to manage diabetes is expected to increase. Approximately 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes and all use insulin; while it’s not known precisely how many with type 2 diabetes would benefit from insulin, experts say patients who live with type 2 diabetes to old age will likely need it.

CVS Health has pushed back hard against rising insulin prices. Earlier this year, the PBM stunned Sanofi when it dropped its longtime mainstay insulin, Lantus, from formulary and said it would cover a biosimilar, Basaglar, starting January 1, 2017.