By 2021, CVS to Open 1,500 Wellness Stores with Health Screening and Yoga Amenities

CVS to open HealthHUB stores
(Photo courtesy CVS.) The HealthHUB concept is part of a transformative initiative within CVS, the operator of 9,900 American retail pharmacies, which stopped selling cigarettes in 2014.

CVS Health Corp., Woonsocket, Rhode Island, plans to open 1,500 specialty wellness stores by the end of 2021 that will offer dietitian services, health screenings and yoga spaces, the retail pharmacy company announced on June 4

CVS started pilot-testing its new HealthHUB store concept in Houston in late 2018 and will open additional locations in Atlanta, Tampa, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey during the second half of 2019. HealthHUBs will be a mix of new openings and remodelings of current, merchandise-focused stores.

"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," Larry J. Merlo, president CEO of CVS, said in a media release. "We have combined with [insurance provider] Aetna to build a powerful and unique business model that will guide our journey to becoming the most consumer-centric health company."

HealthHUBs allow customers to meet with dietitians, track their blood pressure, receive diabetes-related health screenings and discuss chronic disease treatment plans with pharmacists. They also include community spaces for nutrition or yoga classes.

The HealthHUB concept is part of a transformative initiative within CVS, the operator of 9,900 American retail pharmacies, which stopped selling cigarettes in 2014.

CVS has expanded its walk-in MinuteClinics to 1,100 locations, according to the company. MinuteClinics, first launched in 2000, can now provide approximately 80 percent of the services offered by the average primary care practice.

In November 2018, CVS acquired insurance provider Aetna, which currently claims 22.1 million medical members.

“[HealthHUBs] bring to market a new retail engagement model that offers health care services in a more convenient, more accessible, and more customer-focused manner,” Merlo said in a recent message to shareholders. “We opened our first three stores in the Houston area earlier this year, and we’re very encouraged by the patient engagement and satisfaction scores, as well as the utilization of our health care services. And as a marker of our confidence, we plan to roll out these stores more broadly across our footprint. … The HealthHubs are, of course, just one opportunity in our portfolio of transformational initiatives.”

In April 2019, Walgreens, Deerfield, Illinois, and VillageMD announced a collaboration to deliver primary care services at select retail stores. Walgreens, at 9,560 locations, is the second-largest American retail pharmacy chain behind CVS.

An April 10 media release states: “VillageMD will operate state-of-the-art primary care clinics next to five Walgreens stores in the Houston area, with the first locations scheduled to open by the end of 2019. The conveniently located clinics, branded ‘Village Medical at Walgreens,’ will provide comprehensive primary care services, integrated tightly with pharmacists, nurses and social workers to meet the full suite of patient needs.  The clinics will be comprised of 2,500 square feet to serve the full adult continuum, including seniors.

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