- CVS Health and Epic Systems have launched a strategic big data analytics initiative aimed at controlling prescription costs, the two companies announced this week.
CVS Health, which uses Epic electronic health records (EHRs) in its MinuteClinic facilities, will add Epic’s Healthy Planet population health management product to its health IT suite in an effort to increase visibility into dispensing patterns and medication adherence rates.
"This collaboration with Epic will enable us to continue to drive leading edge technology innovation beyond the pharmacy to the full health care system," said Stephen Gold, Chief Information Officer, CVS Health.
"Together, our two companies will also examine opportunities to streamline and improve data sharing and linkages across the health care system to enhance communication and connectivity among patients, their physicians, the pharmacy and health insurers."
Access to real-time benefit information and electronic prior authorization for prescriptions will make it easier for patients to access their medications while increasing the likelihood that individuals will be able to choose the lowest-cost options available to them.
The big data partnership will explore a number of different ways to leverage population health management tools in pursuit of lower costs for expensive medications.
In addition to helping providers and patients make smarter decisions about their therapies, CVS and Epic hope to improve collaborative pharmacist-led care planning and create a “digital store front” that includes the purchase over-the-counter medications and durable medical equipment in the EHR.
"CVS Health is one of the leaders in using data to dissolve domain silos, while offering new sources of intelligence and expertise that can better inform care delivery, reduce administrative overhead, and lower costs for patients," said Alan Hutchison, Epic Vice President of Population Health.
CVS is one of several retail clinic and pharmacy chains taking advantage of Epic’s popular health IT products.
Walgreens has also adopted an Epic technology suite to support its expansion into the fast-health environment.
Together, CVS and Walgreens comprise the majority of the retail clinic market, meaning Epic has established a firm foothold in yet another segment of the provider landscape.
"At CVS Health we recognize that EHRs offer health care providers easier and more comprehensive access to their patients' information than ever before," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health.
"This new relationship will help us further expand how we work with Epic and providers on their EHR system to develop meaningful tools and programs that will ultimately help us take even better care of the patients we support."