Amazon will not surpass CVS as a health care retailer because Amazon is a transactional company focused on monetary gain, while CVS’s primary goal is the wellbeing of its customers, said CEO of CVS Health Karen Lynch at a Boston College Chief Executives Club event.
“Customers want to trust and engage with companies who have earned the right to be in health care,” Lynch said.
Chairman and CEO of Boston Scientific Michael Mahoney moderated the event, which took place in the Boston Harbor Hotel on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Lynch, technological advances have allowed CVS to expand as a health care provider, insurance company, and retail brand. She said CVS currently provides a wide range of services, including in-home care services, the MinuteClinic, financial support services, and follow-up care.
“We are in the communities, and we are in the homes, and we cover the entire spectrum of someone’s health journey,” she said.
Lynch said the COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for innovative technology. Before the pandemic, CVS conducted 10,000 telepsychiatry visits. After the pandemic, CVS has performed 10,000,000 telepsychiatry visits, she said.
“[CVS is] a digital first, tech-forward company,” Lynch said. “We connect with you digitally and make that process seamless.”
While cultivating a positive health care experience for customers is important, Lynch said it is crucial to create an empathetic and compassionate culture across the entire company. According to Lynch, a strong company culture leads to increased productivity.
“[CVS prioritizes] focusing on the people who interact with our customers every single day,” Lynch said.
Lynch said that CVS hopes to reduce the size and quantity of printed receipts, reduce the plastic used for packaging prescriptions, and pursue equal health care opportunities for all customers.
“Everyone has a just right to access quality health care,” Lynch said.
According to Lynch, women’s health, heart health, and mental health are areas of health care that underprivileged Americans lack sufficient access to. To combat this, CVS pledges to designate resources to these areas in particular.
“CVS understands peoples health,” Lynch said. “We’re passionate and committed to improving health care.”
In addition to providing equitable health care, CVS hopes to soon provide primary care and extend in-home services further, she said.
“We want longitudinal relationships with customers,” Lynch said. “We cannot improve health care without that engagement … and keeping them connected on their health journey.”
Through her time working with CVS, Lynch said she has gained incredible insight into the business and health care world. She urged audience members to take her lessons with them.
“Dream big,” she said. “You never know what you can achieve.”