CVS Health Inc. is adding on another digital health service: sizing and purchasing braces online.
At CVS.com and in what the drugstore chain says is “hundreds of its CVS pharmacy locations,” CVS will offer telehealth visits and the sizing and ordering online for invisible braces, or clear aligner therapy, through SmileDirectClub.
With annual revenue of about $400 million, Nashville, Tennessee-based SmileDirectClub, was founded in 2014 and so far has developed a network, which includes more than 240 dentists and orthodontists nationwide that conduct a telehealth visit with a patient to create a treatment plan and follow-up visits for braces and aligners.
Patients can go online to order a home measurement kit, purchase a kit in a participating Macy’s Inc., Bed Bath & Beyond and now CVS stores, or they can stop by a SmileShop office in a CVS store and elsewhere for a an in-person and three-dimensional scan of the mouth and teeth, getting sized for aligners and developing a dental care plan.
The measurement kit costs $49 but the 3D scan of the teeth and mouth measurements are free if done in a SmileShop, the company says. The total cost of clear aligners and premium teeth whitening is $1,850. Mouth retainers are sold at $99 per set.
So far, SmileDirectClub has treated more than 500,000 dental patients and now has 200 stand-alone retail offices nationwide.
The relationship with CVS expands SmileDirectClub in the drugstore chain’s nearly 10,000 stores nationwide, particularly where CVS is rolling out HealthHubs, a concept store that will feature one-stop shopping for purchasing healthcare services, insurance and products. “SmileDirectClub SmileShops will be included in select CVS HealthHubs by the end of 2019,” CVS says.
Currently, SmileShops are located in 13 CVS stores in eight states and will expand to several hundred locations this year and “more than 1,000 over the next several years,” CVS says.
This summer, CVS, which spent nearly $70 billion in 2018 to acquire health insurer Aetna, also will add SmileDirectClub as an in-network option for Aetna Dental plan members.
With its new relationship with SmileDirectClub, CVS is out to further diversify its omnichannel and digital healthcare service offerings and build a healthcare services superstore that will keep pace with other competitors such as Amazon.com and Walgreens-Boots Alliance Inc.
“SmileShops at CVS Pharmacy enhances the customer experience with innovative and convenient health and beauty solutions,” says CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health Kevin Hourican.
CVS is currently piloting its HealthHub concept at three of its Houston stores. The HealthHub takes up about 20% of the store’s space and provides shoppers with access to wide range of regular and telehealth services, new durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies and new product and service combinations for sleep apnea and diabetes care, diet and wellness counseling and a concierge.