CVS Expands Mental Health Access with Launch of New Virtual Care Platform

CVS Health Inc. (NYSE: CVS) has gone live with its CVS Health Virtual Primary offering.

The move expands the health care and pharmacy giant’s mental health service through integrated virtual care teams. CVS Health Virtual Primary users can also get care from the company’s in-person care providers or other in-network providers.

The company announced Wednesday CVS Health Virtual Primary supports select Aetna commercial health plan members. Mental health services are available to members aged 18 and older. 


It revealed the program in May 20222. It consolidated its virtual mental health and primary care services. At that time, CVS Health said the platform would be available to eligible Aetna members starting Jan. 1, 2023, and for eligible CVS Caremark members during the second quarter of 2023. 

In August 2022, CVS Health announced that it tapped American Well Corp (NYSE: AMWL), or Amwell, to provide its new virtual primary care offering.

“CVS Health Virtual Primary Care offers a more connected health care experience that supports patients throughout their health care journey,” Dr. Creagh Milford, retail health senior vice president for CVS Health, said in a news release. “By taking a care team approach and utilizing technology, we can provide more longitudinal and holistic care to create stronger relationships between patients and their providers.”


Licensed therapists and psychiatrists will provide the telemental health services. Nurse practitioners and licensed clinical social workers will staff the company’s MinuteClinic urgent care services.

The service represents a reaction to and a bet on more and more people gravitating toward digital health care services. A CVS Health-backed survey run by Market Measurement finds that 59% of consumers feel it is important to have access to virtual services, while 71% think a virtual visit for mental health services would be more convenient.

Almost half (48%) of respondents said they would likely seek mental health services if a virtual visit was available.

We saw a similar move last week by another titan of the health care industry to expand access to virtual mental health services.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) announced it gave select health insurance members free access to virtual behavioral health coaching.

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