CVS Health, working with its subsidiary Aetna, has launched a mental healthcare pilot at its CVS HealthHUB locations that the company hopes will expand access to treatment by addressing a shortage of mental and behavioral healthcare providers within the field.
The program puts licensed clinical social workers in the HealthHUBs to provide assessments, referrals and counseling services, while also helping patients develop care plans. Although Aetna is working on the initiative, the pilot’s services are payer-agnostic and social workers can help patients identify benefits and services available through their insurance plan. The pilot is available at 12 HealthHUB locations, but CVS Health told HealthPayerIntelligence last week that it expects to expand the program to 34 locations this year.
CVS Health is also working on a virtual care option to complement the in-person mental healthcare services being offered at its HealthHUBs, leading to what the company envisions eventually being a hybrid approach in which patients can use both in-person and remote services.
“Right now, this is an in-person service, but we are building out the exact care to be virtual as well because, with the pandemic, not everybody wants to come into a HealthHUB,” Cara McNulty, president of behavioral health and Aetna’s employee assistance program, told HealthPayerIntelligence. “We've had an unbelievable increase in the utilization of our virtual care offerings. So, we're building this both for brick and mortar, in-person care and virtual care, to meet the needs of the consumers and patients.”