I stepped back and said, “What is our true purpose of the company?” What I want to do is make sure that people have access to high-quality, affordable health care, and that we as a company can help people navigate the health care system. Because we’re so central in people’s lives, we have the ability to be even more central in people’s lives. That’s the mark I really want to make, is to be part of someone’s everyday life where if they’re healthy, they’re engaging with us to stay healthy. If they have health issues, they’re engaging with us so that we can help manage and navigate that.
Can you give me some examples of your work?
Well, let’s just start with a pandemic, right? So you go to CVS for a test. This was the first time that we did it, way back when your vaccines were being administered at CVS. As a way of changing the way people think, virtual primary care has been implemented. We’ve added behavioral health specialists to our stores, which is really different. We’re going to move into the expansion of health care services. I don’t want people to think about CVS Health as just that drugstore. It should be viewed as a healthcare company.
How serious is shoplifting in your store right now?
There are certain parts of the country that are worse than others, but it’s not having a material impact on our financial results. However, it is a safety concern for our employees. So one of the things that we’ve done is we’ve made more investments in security.
How does the labor shortage affect your company? Are you having trouble hiring people?
It is a great challenge for us. We have increased the wages. In the past year, we have paid pharmacy bonuses. We’ve done big hiring days. But it is a constant balance, and a constant struggle.
You stated that you would raise your minimum wage from $15 an hour to $15 by the end of this summer. Is that true?
It was implemented in phases. So we’ve been rolling it out over time, and I don’t know that it’s enough. We obviously moderate wages in different parts of the country and I’m going to continue to evaluate it.
What are your top recommendations for reducing health care costs? And what’s your company’s role in doing that?
There’s a couple of things. One is there’s the site of care. Our role is to provide an alternative site of care in our retail locations and in the home with virtual connectivity. We’re entering into the primary care space because we believe that primary care has real significant influence over the cost of health care.
Source: NY Times