The recent merger between Aetna and CVS unites one of the largest insurance companies with a major retail pharmacy, and opens the door to transforming how healthcare is delivered in the United States.
Whether this move will ultimately be good for patients remains unknown, but speculation on the potential upsides and downsides of this type of merger within the U.S. healthcare industry is taking shape as other similar mergers promise to emerge. Just days after the announcement of the Aetna/CVS merger, U.S. insurance giant UnitedHealth announced plans to acquire DaVita Medical Group, which operates approximately 300 clinics, urgent care centers, and outpatient surgery centers in a number of states.
New Models of Care
In an article published Dec. 5, 2017 in the Harvard Business Review, John Toussaint, MD, CEO of Catalysis, an integrated health system based in Wisconsin, described how these kinds of mergers are upending the way healthcare traditionally has been delivered in the U.S. by offering a new model that prioritizes access to care and lowers costs by moving the delivery of care out of the hospital setting.