Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

CVS to Buy Aetna in $69 Billion Deal

leave a comment »

CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion, in a deal that would combine the drugstore with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States, according to a report from The New York Times.

The merger comes at a time of turbulent transformation in health care. Insurers, hospitals and pharmacy companies are bracing for a possible disruption in government programs like Medicare as a result of the Republicans’ plan to cut taxes. Congress remains at an impasse over the future of the Affordable Care Act, while employers and consumers are struggling under the weight of rising medical costs, including the soaring price of prescription drugs. And rapid changes in technology have raised the specter of new competitors — most notably Amazon. A combined CVS-Aetna could position itself as a formidable figure in this changing landscape. Together, the companies touch most of the basic health services that people regularly use, providing an opportunity to benefit consumers. CVS operates a chain of pharmacies and retail clinics that could be used by Aetna to provide care directly to patients, while the merged company could be better able to offer employers one-stop shopping for health insurance for their workers.
– via www.nytimes.com

 

But as the Times goes on to observe, critics worry customers could find their healthcare choices sharply limited (i.e., less choice of where to fill a prescription or get care if so many roads lead through a combined CVS/Aetna.

But in the announcement, the companies pointed out clear synergies that would benefit patients:

the two companies emphasized their ability to transform CVS’s 10,000 pharmacy and clinic locations into community-based sites of care that would be far less expensive for patients. “We think of it as creating a new front door to health care in America,” CVS Health’s chief executive, Larry J. Merlo, said in an interview. The merger would establish a new way of delivering care, with nurses, pharmacists and others available to counsel people about their diabetes or do the lab work necessary to diagnose a condition, Mr. Merlo said. “We know we can make health care more affordable and less expensive.”
– via www.nytimes.com

Looming in the background, the Times observes, a lingering Amazon and Jeff Bezos, rumored to be preparing for an entry into the pharmacy business.

As to antitrust considerations, both companies played down the prospect of regulation, arguing that the takeover is a “vertical merger” combining companies in two different industries.

Written by turbotodd

December 4, 2017 at 9:21 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: