AM Best – Observers: CVS-Aetna Merger Could Transform Health Care, Become Competitive Juggernaut

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.

To read the rest of the article and to see what DHC attorney Derek Wolman had to say, click here.

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