CVS Health’s massive $69 billion bid to buy Aetna Inc. could trigger a transformation in the health care space, but whether it becomes a watershed moment depends on if the company can deliver on the promise of improved care at a lower cost, according to industry observers.
The deal is unlike most insurance mergers in which two competitors come to together as a play for scale, Jim Winkler, global chief innovation officer for health at Aon, told Best’s News Service.
CVS and Aetna are two organizations in adjacent spaces in health care. A merger of the two is called a vertical integration because they’re not competitors. “That’s really intriguing,” Winkler said.
Aetna has a physician network and pays medical claims, while CVS has a pharmacy benefit management company that pays pharmacy claims. CVS also has nearly 10,000 retail stores and 1,100 clinics. Its store footprint offers a place to build community health hubs for preventative care and other services.
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