RETAIL NEWS

CVS Pharmacy to expand SmileDirectClub SmileShops

BY Sandra Levy

CVS Pharmacy is making additional moves to bring dental care to more of its stores.

CVS Health and SmileDirectClub on Thursday announced plans to expand access to affordable, convenient orthodontic clear aligner therapy through SmileShops in hundreds of CVS Pharmacy locations.

After a successful pilot, SmileDirectClub SmileShops are set to double their current physical footprint and consumer access to its teledentistry innovation through CVS Pharmacy locations in 2019.

“CVS Health and SmileDirectClub are aligned in the mission to put the customer at the center of their care by providing easier access to more affordable, more convenient health solutions with proven outcomes,” CVS Pharmacy president and CVS Health executive vice president Kevin Hourican said. “SmileShops at CVS Pharmacy support our dedication to enhancing the customer experience with innovative and convenient health and beauty solutions.”

By early summer 2019, SmileDirectClub will be added as an in-network health care option for Aetna Dental members, which the companies said would provide greater benefits and an enhanced coverage experience for patients.

“Aetna is committed to making dental care easy and affordable, which is why we offer coverage for a wide range of orthodontic solutions, in order to ensure that we’re meeting the needs of each patient,” president of Aetna and executive vice president of CVS Health Karen Lynch said. “Our collaboration with SmileDirectClub is exciting because it will enhance and simplify the coverage experience for Aetna members that are candidates for their innovative, low-cost solution.”

Through increasing the footprint of SmileDirectClub SmileShops in the United States, the collaboration reinforces SmileDirectClub’s mission to democratize access to a straighter smile through an affordable and convenient direct-to-consumer platform, the company said.

“Our collaboration opens the door for millions of CVS Pharmacy customers to be one step closer to getting a smile that they love, and can afford,” SmileDirectClub co-founder Alex Fenkell said. “CVS Pharmacy understands that quality and convenience are what customers crave when it comes to their health, wellness, and beauty needs. We are excited to extend our footprint and access to straighter smiles with a customer-first organization.”

There currently are 13 SmileShops located in CVS Pharmacy stores across 13 states, and the companies plan to bring more than a thousand locations over the next several years.

SmileDirectClub SmileShops at CVS Pharmacy feature SmileGuides to assist with getting customers interested in SmileDirectClub services, including a free 3-D digital image of their teeth, teeth whitening kits, and information about clear aligner therapy. A member of SmileDirectClub’s digital network of more than 240 state licensed dentists and orthodontists will approve and manage a custom clear aligner treatment plan. Upon approval from the treating doctor and patient, aligners are sent directly to the customer’s door. Through SmileDirectClub’s proprietary teledentistry platform, customers are able to check in with their doctor every 90 days and more frequently if necessary.

SmileDirectClub’s clear aligner therapy works best for people 12 years old or older with all adult teeth and mild-to-moderate crowding or spacing issues. Customers can walk-in to a SmileDirectClub SmileShop at CVS Pharmacy or they can schedule a visit online.

In addition, Aetna Dental will offer in-network coverage of SmileDirectClub clear aligner therapy beginning in the summer. Aetna Dental members can visit SmileDirectClub’s website to provide insurance information and gain access to real-time savings prior to payment.

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