CVS Health unveils new benefits management tool

CVS Health has a new health and wellness benefit management service for its PBM clients.

The tool, Vendor Benefit Management, is meant to help employer clients contract, implement and manage third-party health and wellness vendors. Clients can use the tool to access negotiated pricing, member eligibility verification, billing and reporting, CVS Health said Tuesday.

Derica Rice, president of CVS Caremark, the PBM business of CVS Health, says the company was looking to ease some administrative burden on clients by creating a solution where they can access health and wellness vendors in one place.

He says the company found that clients wanted a tool that would allow members to more easily access wellness benefits.

See also: Big Health releases new mental wellness app

“As healthcare continues to evolve, plan sponsors have begun looking beyond the standard medical, pharmacy, dental and vision health benefit offerings, and are increasingly considering supplemental benefits to help improve health outcomes and reduce overall medical spend,” Rice said in a statement.

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CVS Health Corp. signage is displayed outside a store in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Photographer: Christopher Lee/Bloomberg

CVS Health has already signed the digital therapeutics company Big Health to the service. Big Health, which develops apps based on cognitive behavioral therapy, currently has two solutions on the market, Daylight which helps employees better address negative thoughts and feelings and Sleepio, an app to help workers improve sleep. Employers currently using Big Health include Activision Blizzard, The Hartford, Boston Medical Center and Comcast.

Peter Hames, co-founder and CEO of Big Health, says the partnership with CVS Health will make Sleepio available at scale for the first time.

“Millions of Americans suffer from chronic physical and mental health conditions for which there are proven behavioral solutions. These interventions were previously not available at scale, until the advent of digital therapeutics,” he says.

See also: 20 Digital Innovators transforming benefits, HR

Employers are looking for more integrated benefit solutions, industry experts say. More than a fifth of companies use 10 or more different digital tools at work, and roughly 60% are using more than five systems every day, a recent Reward Gateway survey finds. To ease this burden, clients need tools that can combine a variety of vendors in one place, adds Dan Staley, global HR technology leader at PwC says.

“Every year there’s a new application that organizations are rolling out,” he says. “I think it’s a problem with HCM that there’s all these different vendors and applications you have to tie together. It does make integration one of the top challenges for chief human resource officers. I don’t see it going away completely.

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