How CVS Health Is Encouraging Patients to Stay Home in Response to COVID-19

May 8, 2020

By Dominick Fils-Aimé

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Marketing Maestros is providing weekly coverage of how various brands are responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak and relevant resources from the ANA's Marketing Knowledge Center to help your brand do the same.

On March 9, CVS, in collaboration with its health care partners, took steps to provide patients with a safe, convenient pathway to accessing medication and care amid the financial and health implications of the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of this, CVS Pharmacy announced that it would be waiving charges for the home delivery of prescription medication, encouraging customers to stay at home to reduce their chances of contracting the virus.

Additionally, the retail and pharmacy chain deployed its “MinuteClinic” to fight the spread of the virus by reconfiguring its clinical services to accommodate patients virtually. Concerned customers can now request “video visits” in 40 states and Washington, D.C., enabling nurse practitioners to evaluate and treat illnesses remotely. This service is made available to patients with no co-pay, making it a convenient, cost-efficient option, while still minimizing exposure to the contagious virus.

CVS is further investing in virtual medical services, repurposing nearly $1.5 million in grants to strengthen COVID-19 relief efforts. It donated $350,000 to the Pacific Business Group on Health (PGBH), and $1,000,000 to the California Free and Charitable Clinics to fund the launch and expansion of “telehealth” services for smaller independent practices, and support programs to address food insecurity.

Furthermore, Aetna, a CVS health company, now offers 90-day maintenance medication prescription to insured patients, and Medicare members, working with state governments to make this option available to Medicaid members as well. Aetna additionally implemented a number of programs functioning to educate, or provide emotional support for its members, opening crisis response hotlines for customers experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.

Marketing Resources

  • Presenting in 2020 Is Not What We Thought It Would Be. More than ever, employees are looking for reliable remote working solutions that can replace conference rooms with video calls, webinars, and online meetings. Maintaining professionalism, staying connected, and learning how to use telecommunication tools is a must for companies hoping to weather the COVID-19 storm.
  • Virtual Reality. The use of virtual reality to engage customers is among the most popular marketing trends in recent times. With affordable VR and AR devices in construction, it’s important companies identify ways to create immersive experiences for customers.
  • Humanizing Brands. Consumers value brands they can interact with on a human level. The J. Walter Thompson Company tested the impact of six humanizing characteristics that organizations can use to increase brand sentiment, and drive growth.

Comcast Is Stretching its Broadband to Provide Educational Support

Internet access is more important than ever, with millions of people worldwide making the shift to remote work, and educational solutions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommunications conglomerate Comcast is opening up availability of its services for customers, students, and employers during a time where interconnectivity is at a premium.

Through June 30, Comcast is offering its “Internet Essentials” program, the nation’s largest and most successful broadband adoption program for low income households, to give eligible customers 60 days of high-speed internet for free. The company also raised internet speeds for Internet Essential customers nationwide to accommodate for the surge in online traffic, providing customers with reliable, and expedient support to stay connected, informed, and entertained from home during the crisis.

Additionally, Xfinity, a subsidiary of Comcast, is offering educational support providing eligible university students with a prepaid Visa card for two months of internet service for no upfront fees or installation costs. To accommodate younger students, Xfinity collaborated with Common Sense Media to create an educational content hub for kids grades K-12, featuring over 2,000 hours of programming, and thousands of free titles to support learning for Xfinity video customers. These resources combined with, free, fast internet access enable for enriched learning experiences for remote learning, while reducing the burden on parents being thrust into homeschooling young children.

Understanding the financial implication of the COVID-19 outbreak, Xfinity Internet, Mobile, and Voice will not disconnect services, and will have late fees waived given they notify support. Customers can also contact Xfinity care teams to review available payment options and other solutions.

Marketing Resources

  • Taking In-House Virtual: Talent Versus Location. PricewaterhouseCoopers shares how it successfully runs its large-scale in-house agency remotely, after developing a model that enables them to find the right talent to maintain organization in an environment where people are working from different locations.
  • Three Tips For Mastering a New Technology. Andrew Hunt of the Hershey Co. shares three tips on how to explore new technologies, advising teams to break experimenting into manageable chunks, and taking a lily pad approach to learning.
  • The Future of Work. Google explores the implications of employees working in non-tradition office settings, and relying more on digital means to interact with colleagues, and employees in other organizations.

See what you may have missed from previous weeks:

How is your brand adapting to the pandemic? Share in the comments.


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