CVS bid for Aetna could run $66 billion

por Thomas Dworetzky, Contributing Reporter | October 31, 2017
Business Affairs

It would also “lock in”, as CVS customers, the 22 million Aetna members.

"You have the basis for a less expensive delivery system, at places where employees actually go," Robert Galvin, chief executive of health-contract negotiator Equity Healthcare, told the Journal. "The diligence is going to be, what does this mean to an employer? Will it lower costs and improve care?"

The move also brings Aetna closer to matching competitor UnitedHealth in its integration efforts.

Likewise, Humana has a own pharmacy-benefit manager, and has suggested interest in getting more involved in health care delivery to the home.

Anthem is planning to start a new PBM in 2020, as well.

"Employers are looking for more comprehensive solutions to solve the big health-care management challenges," Willis Towers Watson's Nadina J. Rosier, told the paper, adding that the goal is "a more seamless experience for the member."

Insurers are responding, in part, defensively, as mergers have swept through the hospital and pharma sector – which has led to tougher price dealings and a race to make money from other profitable pieces of the health care picture.

During a May call, Aetna CEO Mark T. Bertolini said that Aetna and CVS, were discussing how “to fundamentally rethink how we could work closer together, both on ... the pharmacy side, but also on the local care delivery that could go on in the community, given that CVS has 9,000 stores within 3 miles of 80% of the American public," according to The Street.

He advised that the insurer felt that there was a need “to get closer to home and closer to the community to help people ... versus waiting for them to show up maybe once a year at the doctor to get information about how they're doing."

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