Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer, CVS Health
Stephen Gold is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer for CVS Health. In this role since July 2012, Gold is the company’s senior technology executive and has responsibility for all information systems and technology operations, including information technology strategy, application development, technology infrastructure and PBM Client Services Operations.
A seasoned executive with more than 35 years of information systems management experience, Gold was previously Senior Vice President and CIO for Avaya, guiding all aspects of the company’s technology strategy, as well as leading IT business operations and systems globally.
Prior to joining Avaya, Gold was the Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer and Corporate Chief Technology Officer for GSI Commerce. At GSI, Gold was responsible for product development, product marketing, systems architecture, product engineering and technology operations for one of the nation’s premier ecommerce solutions providers, supporting brands such as Toys R Us, Polo, BCBG, Estee Lauder, Kate Spade and all major sports leagues.
Gold holds an undergraduate degree in computer science from Saint John’s University and currently serves as a member of their advisory board.
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.
Impact on Business: What role does your unit play in supporting the company to achieve its desired outcomes, and elaborate on what you think the strategic value of technology is for your company. What are most people not aware of when they think of the role that you play?
The nation’s health care landscape has changed dramatically in the last decade, and it continues to evolve to this day. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the growing Baby Boomer population, and the rise of chronic disease, health care providers have had to act fast to adapt to the growing and changing health care system. As the nation’s largest pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health is committed not only to meeting our customers’, clients’ and patients’ needs, but also delivering innovative and cost-effective solutions across our company. Our Information Technology (IT) team is at the forefront of that work.
With a national footprint that includes 7,800 CVS/pharmacy and 1,000 MinuteClinic locations nationwide, a pharmacy benefits management business with 70 million plan members, and a growing specialty pharmacy services business, we reach millions of people each and every day. And, with a workforce of 215,000 colleagues, our IT team is charged with ensuring they are armed with the tools and services needed to provide top-notch and cost-effective solutions for our customers.
Our country has been transitioning to a digital society in recent years and it’s transforming how we live, how consumers behave and how businesses such as CVS Health compete. You can see it in things from electronic medical records and e-prescribing; to smart phone apps that provide medication reminders and other tools to manage patients’ prescriptions. The health care industry is expected to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the past 50 and CVS Health is playing an important role in driving this change.
To keep up with the changes in health care and within our company, our IT department works to develop, implement and refine industry-leading capabilities that both power and connect our company’s integrated offerings – CVS/pharmacy, CVS/minuteclinic, CVS/caremark and CVS/specialty. Our IT framework supports strategic priorities including developing a strong, scalable enterprise-wide platform to enable innovation and future growth; building, enhancing, and integrating systems to support current company initiatives; upgrading and maintaining tools and technologies for colleagues to drive productivity and foster collaboration; and managing the “business of IT” to engineer quality, reliability, compliance and cost-effectiveness in an environment that is extremely complex.
A recent example of this framework in action is our IT team’s support of CVS Health’s new Specialty Connect program. For most Americans, filling a prescription is as simple as bringing it to the neighborhood pharmacy and picking up the pills a few hours later. But for patients who take specialty medications to manage complex conditions like hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, oncology, and rheumatoid arthritis, the process can be more challenging. Specialty Connect offers patients choice and flexibility in how they access their specialty medications, while providing centralized, expert clinical support.
With Specialty Connect, patients have the option to bring their specialty prescriptions to any CVS/pharmacy. After dropping off their prescription at the pharmacy, patients receive insurance guidance and dedicated clinical support by phone from a team of specialty pharmacy experts, trained in each therapeutic area, who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Once the prescription is ready, the program also makes it easy for patients to receive their specialty drugs. Patients can choose between in-store pickup at any of the many CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide, or they can receive their medications by mail.
Our IT team played a pivotal role in building the systems interfaces that support our patients in ever increasing ways. In addition to receiving counseling and support via our PBM and mail order services, we are now able to connect them with the trusted pharmacists at our 7,800 retail pharmacies, who can now make a face-to-face connection with those specialty patients as well. It’s a really great and innovative way that our IT colleagues are not only supporting the business, but also the millions of patients we serve each and every day.
Launching and supporting ground-breaking programs like Specialty Connect are both challenging and complex. That’s why it is critical to have a team of top-notch professionals behind it – people who are not only technology leaders, but also experts in various aspects of pharmacy and health care. In order to truly make an impact in information technology, we have to fully understand the business and its needs. Our colleagues are poised and ready to take on any challenge that comes their way, and are nimble and fast-acting, qualities needed to succeed in the ever-changing health industry. Our unique integrated IT model is enabling our company to provide enhanced service and care and delivering on our company purpose – helping people on their path to better health.