CVS Health and Aetna Merges for Improved Performance in Healthcare Delivery
CVS health, the second largest drugstore chain in United states has announced its merger with Aetna, the third largest health insurer. This merger is aimed at pushing much deeper into customer care and ensuring optimum satisfaction of the customers. But the question remains: How does this merger affect patients?
The mammoth business agreement combines CVS Health Corp; a company that runs more than 9,700 drugstores with Aetna Inc.; an insurer covering around 22 million people. Some of the 22 million customers are enrolled in Aetna Medicare Supplements.
CVS Health Corp. is also one of the nation's biggest pharmacy benefit managers, processing more than a billion prescriptions a year for clients like large employers and insurers including Aetna Inc.
Somehow, health care consolidation has not always benefited consumers, but during the announcement, CVS CEO Larry Merlo said that CVS wants to lower costs for customers.
Combining the two businesses may help trim costs by tying together pharmacy services with health care benefits, and aligning the services that otherwise would have separate profit goals.
"Health care prices are rising at an unsustainable rate, but the merger can meet an unmet need in terms of improving access and reducing cost and helping people achieve their best health", Merlo stated.
If the deal is approved by regulators and shareholders, CVS said it will transform its stores into community healthcare hubs where people can go to get a broader array of medical services beyond flu shots, filling prescriptions, treating ear infections and other basic services that its Minute Clinics offer today.
CVS CEO Larry Merlo said after announcing the deal that people with chronic conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes, could go to their local CVS for regular monitoring in between doctor visits, which would help keep them out of the hospital and prevent costlier problems down the road.
The companies envision offering lab tests, vision and hearing services, weight loss and nutrition counseling, follow-up nursing care at home and medication management.
They assert that with their merged data about people's health and vast reach, they have the opportunity to make real change in a health care landscape that nearly everyone agrees is too convoluted, inefficient and expensive.
The merger will create a world where patients will get the human touch and fewer people will fall through the cracks, and getting high-quality, low-cost medical care will be as close as your corner drugstore they promised.