CVS expands health care responsibilities for key executives

Changes cover care delivery, pharmacy/wellness services and the patient experience and come amid efforts to retune the company's health care business model.
CVS Health logo-office sign_Shutterstock
About a month ago, CVS Health confirmed plans to lay off 5,000 corporate staff in connection with efforts to fine-tune its health care business model. / Photo: Shutterstock

CVS Health has broadened the roles of several executives across corporate and health care functions.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS said late Thursday that Shawn Guertin has been appointed as president of the Health Services business and will continue at his post of chief financial officer. In leading the Health Services arm, Guertin will oversee the unification of the company’s care delivery assets, spur innovation and expand the segment’s products and services.

Oak Street Health (primary care clinics) and Signify Health (a health care analytics and provider platform) will continue to be aligned under Health Services. CVS said the two recently acquired assets bring core capabilities to the company’s value-based care offering aimed at driving optimal patient engagement with health services across multiple channels. MinuteClinic, CVS’ retail health clinic business, also will be part of the Health Services portfolio.

Mike Pykosz and Kyle Armbrester, who lead Oak Street Health and Signify Health, will now report directly to Guertin. Both Pykosz and Armbrester will remain members of the CVS’ executive leadership team.

“This structure simplifies access to our multi-payor capabilities and better aligns the way we serve clients,” Guertin said in a statement. "By bringing these businesses together, we will be better positioned to more effectively address the total cost of care, implement new care solutions that support healthy communities, and improve the growth rate of the company.”

Also getting extended duties is Prem Shah, who becomes the sole president of pharmacy and consumer wellness, in addition to his current role of chief pharmacy officer. Shah previously served as co-president with Michelle Peluso, who now will focus on her role as chief customer and experience officer, with additional responsibilities.

CVS noted that the appointment of Shah as pharmacy and consumer wellness president simplifies the leadership structure for the segment. And as chief pharmacy officer, he will continue to focus on top-notch service to pharmacy customers while advocating for the broadening role of pharmacists as health care providers, according to the company.

“Pharmacists are among the most trusted and accessible providers, representing one of the most frequent interactions in health care, and pharmacies will increasingly serve as a critical customer engagement point to other health services,” Shah commented. “We have a tremendous opportunity to connect our patients to other care channels, given their deep relationships and trust with their local pharmacists.”

Meanwhile, Peluso will expand her role to enhance the end-to-end patient experience across all care delivery and customer service channels, with a goal of boosting overall satisfaction with CVS Health, the company said..

“Our unique collection of care delivery assets gives us the opportunity to create a more coordinated experience for our customers and patients,” Peluso stated. “Through this work, our team can help ensure that our customer and patient touch points are seamless, connected, and lead to better health.”

The three executives’ expanded roles are effective immediately, CVS reported.

“At a time when we are accelerating our strategy to deliver superior health experiences for consumers, we are advancing leaders who are driving patient-centric innovation,” CVS Health President and CEO Karen Lynch said in a statement. “Our leaders are deploying the full set of our capabilities to improve overall health, lower costs, and provide broad access to care for the people and communities we serve.”

CVS’ role changes come as Brian Kane joined the company this week as executive vice president at CVS Health and president of the Aetna health insurance arm. Most recently, Kane served as a strategic consultant to leading private-equity firms focused on health care services. Before that, he was CFO of Humana and oversaw that health benefits company’s primary care businesses.

About a month ago, in a conference call with analysts on 2023 second-quarter results, Lynch and Guertin affirmed that the company aims to eliminate 5,000 positions and took a nearly $500 million restructuring charge in Q2 related to the job reduction. CVS’ workforce streamlining comes in the wake of two big health care acquisitions: the $10.6 billion purchase of Medicare primary care provider Oak Street Health (closed in early May) and the $8 billion purchase of value-based health care payment platform Signify Health (finalized in late March).

And in early May, CVS executives noted in a first-quarter analyst call that the company is sharpening its focus on integration following the Oak Street and Signify acquisitions to fine-tune its health care business model. To that end, CVS realigned its business units under four segments: Health Services (PBM, primary care, retail health clinics, home-based care and provider enablement), Pharmacy & Consumer Wellness (retail pharmacy and front-end retail, specialty and mail-order pharmacy fulfillment, and infusion services), Health Care Benefits (insured and self-insured medical, pharmacy, dental and behavioral health products/services) and Corporate/Other.



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