Join our host, Bridgette Cassety as she speaks with Michael Ciarrocchi, Chief Market Development Officer and Claudia Winsett, Head of Product Strategy and how Meritain Connected Solutions connects the value for our customers.
Speaker 1 (00:05):
Welcome to another edition of in the booth. My name is Bridgette Cassety and I am head of broker engagement here at Meritain health. And I'm thrilled to be joined again today by Michael Ciarrocchi, who is our chief market development officer here at Meritain, and also by Claudia Winsett, who is head of our product strategy. So welcome both. It's been a long time since I've had the ability to have both of you together to have a conversation. So I'm thrilled that that we have this time together today, and Michael, you know, the last time you and I got together, we had a, a conversation around where total cost of care was going. And specifically you talked a lot about in that conversation, Meritain connected solutions. So I thought that be a good place for us to jump off today and go a little deeper into exactly what that means for our customers. So when we talk about Meritain connected solutions, Michael, exactly. Can you give our, our listeners a little bit more flavor for exactly what that means to us here at Meritain?
Speaker 2 (00:56):
Sure. And, and thanks, Bridgette. It's great to be back with you again, you know, when we think about Meritain connected solution it's important that, that we talk about, you know, who we're trying to connect and, and really for us, it all starts with our customer and with their members, for us, it's the ability to connect them with this broader ecosystem of solutions, many of which live within the CVS enterprise, some of them live in the et enterprise and for us to be able to bring them together in a seamless way for the benefit of our members and, and employers and other customers to improve that member health and reduce total cost of care. But again, the thing that's so unique for us and, and we spend, I know a lot of time talking about it with our markets is that while we have the ability to connect those different solutions, none of them are mandatory.
Speaker 2 (01:47):
And so what it does is it gives all of our customers and their consultants and brokers. It gives them the opportunity to really plug and play those different solutions. Not only the internal solutions that we have here at CVS, but the external solutions that we have as well, really to tailor a solution that's the best fit and meets the customer where they are. So it it's really unique cuz it represents how we Meritain fit into the broader CVS suite of solutions, but also that it, it aligns very much with that DNA that we talk about. That's so important for a good TPA to make sure that we have at level of flexibility and customization that our that our consultants and, and employers tend to demand from us. So it's certainly not one exhaustive list of products. It's not one product. It really is sort of a, a mindset that thinks about how it is that we connect those who are using our services with the, the most robust set of solutions that we have both internally and externally.
Speaker 1 (02:51):
Michael, when I hear you talk about that, the thing that comes to mind a, a few things I wrote down is, you know, a tailored solution and almost the best of both worlds where we can meet you where you're at because we have these assets that we can deploy if you need us to. And if not, that's fine too, but it's almost that, that meeting of the best of both worlds is that sort of how you see it as well.
Speaker 2 (03:11):
A absolutely. And, and not only that, not only the best of both worlds now, but that continued line sort of keeping our eye on the horizon about what's next, right? Whether it's certain, we will continue to have a great deal of work that with under Claudia's team, that's monitoring the external environment about other different solutions that are available, but also have a line of sight to some of the innovative ideas that CBS is bringing to the marketplace that will continue to be able to offer in, again, a very unique way that other TPAs won't won't be able to, to integrate to the same degree that we'll be able to.
Speaker 1 (03:47):
And, and I think you're, you're right, Michael it's, it's a great segue for, for me to, to, to talk with Claudia next, cuz we're talking about sort of that shared vision for delivery and you're right. It's a continual evolution, you know, and what's next, which we pay very close to atta. So Claudia, when you, when you think about what Michael's discussing with our customers right now, you, what, what does this really all mean though to, to those end users and to those plan sponsors and to those brokers and consultants that we work with? Well, first of all, Bridget, thank you so much for having me today. I'm really excited to talk about Meritain connected solutions. And I think I'm even more excited that the question that you asked me about is what does this mean to our customers? Because Meritain connected solution is really all about our customers.
Speaker 1 (04:31):
And what I mean by this is being part of CVS health means we embrace the same values of customer centered care and we share a strong vision for the future of healthcare delivery. But I think what's important is that we recognize that we need to do, we need to do that in our authentic Meritain health way that truly serves the unique needs of our customers. Our customers trust that like CVS health, we're seeking to bank care more personal, really convenient, accessible, and affordable. And we know Bridget that access is really the first step into personalized and convenient care. And we wanna be sure that customers can access care. Like Michael said seamlessly, and in a way that's convenient for them really regardless of how they choose to interact with us, whether that's virtually and in person online, it really is how they choose to interact with us.
Speaker 1 (05:27):
And sometimes you'll hear that called omnichannel, which is really just using all types of communication channels to serve our customers. So Bridgette I'll share just a few examples of how we're helping to solve for customer access within Meritain connected solutions. Really one way is through Aetna resources for living it's a market leading end to end employee assistance program that provides resources to support really the everyday concerns of employees. And we can do that in person. We can do that via video. We can do that virtual visits and more recently with our addition of talk space, we offer access to a licensed behavioral therapist from anywhere at any time. So you have unlimited text video and audio message really. So it gives just full access to us, to those concerns that we know really are pervasive right now, another way we're doing this is through access to CV health hubs and minute clinics.
Speaker 1 (06:25):
And so not only do they provide local in-person access to really a wide array of healthcare services that are really continuing to expand every day, but we can incorporate CVS tubs and minute clinics into our benefit plans and offer access at lower cost or even no cost to our members. So that really, that creates that access that we're talking about that I think is so important. And I think Bridgette, lastly, I'll just say what Meritain connected solutions really means to our customers is that while keeping them at the center of what we do, we're bringing opportunity and flexibility to access market leading solutions. Like Michael said both today in, into the future. I mean, looking ahead is so important so that we're not missing really what's next, but we wanna do that in a way that serves their unique needs. Meritain connected solutions. I think what's important to you.
Speaker 1 (07:18):
And I know you've touched on this and Michael has as well, it's not static. It's really an ongoing evolution anchored in our mission of reducing total cost of care and improving health. And we're really excited about the future of what we continue to evolve and what's next for Meritain connected solutions and Claudia, I, I think your spot on about that, you know, when I, when I hear you, you talk about it. You know, the thing that I take away from that is we're really embedding those solutions and those solutions are designed to be convenient and to drive results. That make sense. And like you said, making sure that our customers at the center of all that we do. And I think the examples that you gave around behavioral health are certainly top of mind from many plan sponsors and, and brokers and consultants. And so, so Michael, I'm gonna go back to you maybe to, to round out our conversation today. I know we could spend a lot of time, but you know, when you think about what Claudia just talked about, and when we think about this space of Meritain connected solutions, you know, why, why should our customers care about this directionally about, you know, the investments that we're in this? You know, why, why is it important?
Speaker 2 (08:22):
You know, one of the things that we hear so much about from C from customers and brokers is is you know, there's, there's always a new point solution. There's always a, a new company that's out in the marketplace and that's trying something. And a lot of things sound in of, but a lot of times customers and brokers have a lot of concerns about does it really work. And, and in many cases, a lot of our customers spend a, a, a good amount of money on some of those different point solutions. And they really wanna know, am I gonna get a return on that investment? And so one of the things that has become vital to us at Meritain when we think about organizing around our customers is to figure out what is the best way we bring a unified view of both those internal assets that we have right internally to Meritain or other ones we leverage with CVS and Aetna, and then combine that with a unified view of the different results that the external point solutions are providing.
Speaker 2 (09:23):
And so what we do by that is it allows us to avoid what we call point solution fatigue, right? When all of our customers or brokers, they wanna optimize their health plan in a way that makes for their population, but they worry about the lack of effectiveness or unified view being able to see the full total cost picture when you utilize one of those many of those external vendors. So our approach with connected solutions, again, whether it's the internal ones offered through CVS or externally through our, our point solution of excellence it allows us to combine the, all of those different assets to drive the lowest total cost of care to the plan. But at the same time, allow brokers and customers ease of use working together and seeing all of their data in one spot. And again, there's, there's a lot, no other TPA that can connect, but of those CVS and those external solutions as, as easily as that, as we can, we focus very much on making sure that we don't just connect the data feeds that we don't just connect the, the pipes of that need to go back and forth from an it perspective.
Speaker 2 (10:30):
We really want to connect the value, and we wanna be able to demonstrate that so that the, all of our customers, when they're investing their money in those point solutions, internal or external, they can feel confident that we are helping them maximize the return on that to improve health and lower total cost of care.
Speaker 1 (10:49):
And Michael, the word that I wrote down when you were talking is really the word, one of the words you just said, and that's around value, right? We can taking that unified V to show the value of what you're, of what you're of how you're performing, I should say, in order to, to demonstrate that total cost of care is really the, the message that I hear you speaking of. And I think that it's important for our, our plan sponsors and our consultants and our brokers to certainly know directionally how we're investing in that. So when we talk about total cost of care, that we're delivering on that value, and I think Claudia, it was you that said, you know, not only today, but how we evolve that into the future and how we're constantly paying attention to what's next. So with that Claudia and Michael, I wanna thank both of you for SA taking some time outta your schedule to join me for our, our addition of in the booth and to our listeners. Thanks for you for joining us. And we look forward to you attending another session of in the booth, in the future.