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In expansion, CVS execs say they want to ‘become the nation’s leading health solutions company for consumers’

Last month, the drugstore chain announced it would close 900 stores over the next three years. On Thursday, they told investors that the company plans on expanding primary care services.

A CVS pharmacy in August 2021.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Executives at CVS Health told investors Thursday that the company believes sales will increase as it expands primary care and other health care services in its stores, which they claim will be more affordable and convenient for consumers.

Dr. Troyen A. Brennan, the company’s chief medical officer, told investors that the company’s target consumers for their expanded primary care services are seniors and seniors at risk. In the future, he said, some specialty services will be added as well as an expansion made in mental health services.

Brennan said CVS will “take out the complications” of primary care by potentially opening at 6 a.m. and closing as late at 10 p.m. He also recommended taking patients on weekends to work with the consumer’s schedule instead of the provider’s. He said he wants CVS to become the “employer of choice” for primary care doctors and advanced practice nurses and that the company plans on acquiring new primary care assets.

“We’re going to become the nation’s leading health solutions company for consumers,” Brennan. “Delivering a consumer experience should be as frictionless as banking or shopping.”


The drugstore chain will focus on priority areas in its new strategic plan, which will include advancing primary care delivery by guiding consumers across the care continuum to sites and to providers that will meet their needs, both in the store and virtually through. CVS will launch a new all-payer health products and services such as home health services, the launch of health-related subscription models for broader populations, the commercialization of analytics and insights, and establishing all-payer and provider enablement services.

Executives said the company plans to drive a digital-first, technology-forward approach that will expand the company’s reach with its more than 35 million online members, which they said will “launching new consumer-centric services and offerings, enhancing the customer experience and streamlining business operations — leading to higher customer satisfaction levels and lower costs.”


“Now is the time to undertake our next major evolution and capitalize on our role as the leading health solutions company in America,” said Karen S. Lynch, CVS Health president and CEO.

As part of the company’s new strategic plan, CVS will buy back $10 billion worth of shares as it prepares for further expansion.

The company also said it will look to transform the company’s current stores to become “community health destinations” to pivot the store footprint to focus rather on “advanced primary care centers, enhanced HealthHUB locations and traditional CVS Pharmacy stores.”

Last month, the Woonsocket-based company announced that it planned on closing 300 stores each year for the next three years because of what executives described in changes in consumer shopping behavior, population, and the future of health care needs.

Closures are set to begin in the spring of 2022.

“By leaning into our high-growth foundational businesses and expanding our reach in areas like health services and primary care, we have an opportunity to shift care to be more centered around the consumer while capturing a meaningfully greater portion of health care spend,” said Lynch in a statement. “Ultimately, this plan is only possible with our unique combination of assets which will allow us to lower costs, increase access to quality care and improve health outcomes for consumers, patients and members — while delivering superior results for shareholders.”


The company projects it will generate about $40 to 50 billion in cumulative deployable cash between 2022 and 2024, according to Shawn Guertin, CVS executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“We have a strategic financial approach that will focus on a combination of foundational business growth, new sources of incremental value and strategic capital deployment in order to reach our long-term growth targets and drive shareholder returns,” Guertin said.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at Follow her @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.