June 05, 2019

CVS to open 1,500 HealthHubs

CVS Health is going full steam ahead with its new, health-focused store concept.

CVS debuted the format, called HealthHub, in February, at three revamped CVS Pharmacy locations in Houston. On Tuesday, the company said it will open additional HealthHubs in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey and Tampa this year. Long-term, it plans to have a total of 1,500 HealthHubs operating by the end of 2021.

The format, which CVS described as a “powerful example of how CVS Health can provide consumers with convenient, personalized and integrated access to local health care,” emphasizes health services and products over such traditional drugstore categories as greeting cards. It is in line with the company’s goal following its acquisition of health insurer Aetna to transform its stores, make customers healthier and lower health-care costs.

The design of the revamped stores allocates 20% of the space to health services, including durable medical equipment and supplies, and new product and service combinations to help customers manage conditions like sleep apnea and diabetes care. It also offers one-on-one and group counseling delivered by an in-store licensed dietitian, as well as access to a free weight loss digital app.

In addition, the HealthHub locations include community spaces, with “wellness rooms” available for CVS professionals and community partners to host group events, including health classes, nutritional seminars, and benefits education. Customers can explore health and wellness apps, as well as shop CVS’ expanded online product selection, on available iPads. They can also measure and track their blood pressure, weight and BMI at the store’s health kiosks.

CVS may tweak the designs for different markets and store sizes, according to a CNBC report.

“We’re pleased with the customer feedback we’ve received on the HealthHubs,” CVS Pharmacy Kevin Hourican said in an interview with CNBC. He said the HealthHub stores have seen higher traffic in the MinuteClinics, increased front end sales in and more prescription volumes.

CVS made the announcement about the expansion of HealthHubs on Tuesday at its 2019 Investor Day.

“Our goal is to fundamentally transform the consumer health experience for the millions of Americans we interact with every day, while creating value for our patients, members, partners, and shareholders,” said Larry J. Merlo, president and CEO, CVS Health. “We have combined with Aetna to build a powerful and unique business model that will guide our journey to becoming the most consumer-centric health company.”