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CVS Closes $69B Acquisition of Aetna, Altering Consumer Landscape

The $69 billion acquisition of Aetna will create new options for consumers and support the delivery of enhanced chronic care services, says CVS Health.

CVS Health completes purchase of Aetna

Source: CVS Health

By Jennifer Bresnick

- CVS Health has announced that its $69 billion takeover of Aetna has been completed.  The acquisition promises to radically transform the healthcare industry by creating new care delivery options for consumers.

“Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” said CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo.

“By delivering the combined capabilities of our two leading organizations, we will transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities through a new innovative health care model that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care.”

The new iteration of the “health innovation company” will expand access to care while using advanced data analytics to connect consumers to appropriate resources and healthcare options, Merlo added.

“As the front door to quality health care, our combined company will have a community focus, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it, will simplify a complicated system and will help people achieve better health at a lower cost,” he said.

“We are also leading change in health care by challenging the status quo with new technologies, business models and partnerships. In doing so, we will continue to deliver on our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”

The company plans to develop additional payer-agnostic products and services that will be available to the market at large.  CVS Health is also committed to keeping its retail health clinics and pharmacy services accessible to all consumers, regardless of their health plan.

Aetna brings a wealth of financial and clinical data to CVS Health, Merlo noted, allowing the combined entity to better engage patients in medication adherence, chronic disease management, and preventive care.

“By fully integrating Aetna's medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data, we can develop new ways to engage consumers in their total health and wellness through personal contacts and deeper collaboration with their primary care physicians,” Merlo said.

“As a result, we expect patients will benefit from earlier interventions and better-connected care, leading to improved health outcomes and lower medical costs.”

To support these goals, CVS Health is preparing to expand the services available at its popular MinuteClinic retail health locations – and keep certain clinics open for additional business hours. 

Providers will be equipped to deliver enhanced chronic disease management support, nutritional and behavioral counseling, help with navigating benefits, and assistance with durable medical equipment, mHealth apps, and connected medical devices.

CVS Health is planning to continue its community-based approach to offering screenings and assessments for chronic conditions and high-risk health conditions, and will work closely with local partners to ensure follow-up and care coordination.

Reducing emergency room utilization and preventing avoidable readmissions is also on the agenda, CVS Health said, in an effort to help the healthcare system as a whole control rising costs.

“Health care delivery is changing before our eyes and we are excited to be in the vanguard of that change,” said Merlo.

“With a physical presence in almost every community across the country, we have the unmatched ability to meet consumers where they are and provide the care and services they need either face-to-face or with the unique set of virtual and physical delivery service capabilities that extends our physical presence in real-time to meet their needs.”

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