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CVS Health Offers Coronavirus Testing for Students, Businesses

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Zacks Equity Research
·4-min read
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CVS Health CVS recently launched a diagnostic testing program to address the growing number of cases in the United States. Named as Return Ready, this is a comprehensive, customizable COVID-19 testing solution made particularly for employers and universities.

This testing solution will help return employees to worksites and students, faculty and staff to campuses. It also integrates COVID-19 testing for ongoing business continuity.

With mass unlocking taking place throughout the nation, this testing program will increase access to COVID-19 testing options. This testing solution is expected to see huge market adoption.

Return Ready at a Glance

While providing options for on-site testing as well as drive-thru testing at CVS Pharmacy locations, this flexible technology also provides option for customized testing strategy for organizations to meet their unique needs.



This solution offers clinical consultation, end-to-end testing execution, integrated reporting and additional health and safety solutions to help reduce COVID-19 transmission. It has both point-of-care testing (with results in a few minutes) and third-party lab processed testing (with results in a few days) options.

The organization can either go for on-site testing, or a safe testing environment set up by CVS Health. They may also choose to go to the local community at one of the CVS Pharmacy drive-thru testing locations, which are expected to reach 1,400 by the end of this week.

CVS Health’s Growth Through COVID-19 Crisis

During the time of coronavirus crisis, CVS Health’s consumer centric digital strategy has become even more relevant as people are increasingly using technology more while staying at home. The company has witnessed higher levels of engagement across its digital assets during the crisis. This trend began in January and accelerated with COVID-19. The company noted that utilization of telemedicine for virtual visits through MinuteClinic was up about 600% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the year-ago period.

 Retail prescription home delivery was up more than 1,000% year over year. Additionally, the company saw a fourfold increase in the number of consumers adding front store items to their prescription deliveries (front store attachment rate). Not only this, the company registered double-digit percentage increase in app usage across CVS Pharmacy, Caremark and specialty on a year-over-year basis. In specialty pharmacy, digital refills were up approximately 50% in the quarter. In the Aetna Health app, CVS Health successfully managed to add more households in the first quarter than it did in the first three quarters of 2019.

Overall, the company’s first-quarter performance reflected an acceleration of prescriptions dispensed and strong front store sales, largely driven by COVID-19.

During this period of crisis, to support COVID-19 testing sites, the CVS Health team used its own digital platform to quickly launch a streamlined experience, which has enabled online screening and scheduling for testing, with 85% of consumers highlighting a positive experience.

The company has also waived co-pays for COVID-19 related diagnostic testing for all insured members. For the Commercial and Medicare Advantage members, it waived member out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19-related inpatient admissions and telemedicine visits through early June. The company expects these actions to lead to smooth running of its operations going ahead.

Share Price Performance

Over the past six months, CVS Health outperformed its industry. The stock has lost 15.2% compared with 20% decline of the industry.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Currently, CVS Healthcarries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space include Quest Diagnostics Incorporated DGX, Hologic, Inc. HOLX and QIAGEN N.V. QGEN.

Quest Diagnostics’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 7.6%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Hologic’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 7%. The company presently has a Zacks Rank #2.

QIAGEN’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 12.2%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

5 Stocks Set to Double

Each was hand-picked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2020. Each comes from a different sector and has unique qualities and catalysts that could fuel exceptional growth.

Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

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