CVS’ New President of Care Delivery Tasked with Clinical Strategy for Behavioral Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has named Dr. Amar Desai as its first president of care delivery, a role which oversees the company’s clinical delivery strategy for retail health and behavioral health.

The news comes as CVS Health continues to expand its behavioral health efforts. Desai joins CVS after serving as president and CEO of Optum Pacific West.

“This new organization will leverage the strength of the CVS Health portfolio to develop and implement payor-agnostic products and services,” CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch said in a statement. “Amar’s deep background in clinical delivery and value-based care will be an asset as we continue to deliver high quality health and wellness care to our members and consumers.”


A medical doctor by training, Desai has worked in health leadership for more than a decade. Before his time at Optum, he was the CEO of Keck Medicine of USC and the president of HealthCarePartners.

“CVS Health is uniquely positioned to change the way that consumers receive, pay for and experience their care,” Desai said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the CVS Health management team as we continue to deliver new solutions to improve outcomes for the people we serve.”

CVS Health has shown an active interest in the behavioral health space.


In 2021, the pharmacy giant piloted a behavioral health program at 34 HealthHUB locations. The pilot was designed to help insured and uninsured patients access social workers. The social workers could then guide insured patients to in-network resources, and uninsured patients to community resources.

The pharmacy giant has also announced that it will offer mental health and other primary care services through the CVS Health Virtual Platform. CVS said that the platform will be available to Aetna members in January and CVS Caremark members in the second quarter of 2023.

Additionally, in August, the company revealed that it inked a deal with telehealth company Amwell to launch CVS Health Virtual Platform.

Most recently, CVS Health announced plans to purchase Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) for approximately $8 billion. The two companies anticipate the transaction – already approved by each party’s respective board of directors – to close in the first half of 2023.

Signify itself isn’t a behavioral health-focused business, but identifying behavioral health gaps among vulnerable populations is a core part of what the company offers.

Specifically, Signify conducts in-home health evaluations, capturing more than 200 data points, including those around mental health conditions. After doing so, Signify clinicians share that information with individuals’ primary care providers and health plans, which can then take action.

Once the Signify acquisition closes, it could help CVS Health and Aetna have more transparency around their members’ behavioral health needs.

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