If there was ever a way to discover who the winners and losers were under Obamacare the CVS agreeing to buy Aetna for $69 billion in cash and stock speaks volumes.
The proposed deal brings together two adversaries in the field of escalating medical costs.
The pharmacy companies are in constant battle with health insurers like Aetna over rising drug pricing and acceptability of new treatments. The deal will blur the lines further on customer care as CVS will now have a vested interest in pushing cheaper — perhaps less effective treatments — towards Aetna customers.
Only under Obamacare — where health insurers and pharmacies have the clout to determine customer care — would this deal make sense. CVS will be able to push its growing pharmacy-benefits management service to all Aetna subscribers.Thereby having an even larger voice in patient care and costs.
This deal, which brings two large firms with more than $240 billion in combined annual revenues, is meant to combat the growing number of large regional hospital mergers. With the ultimate aim of opening up its own clinics in all 10,000 CVS pharmacies.
The CVS medical clinic move is designed also to keep Amazon at bay over its move into mail-order prescription sales by making brick and mortar locations relevent.
One analysis of this deal brought the deal into focus.
“Everyone’s moving into one another’s space to position themselves for whatever happens,” said Lawton Robert Burns, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School told the Wall Street Journal.
This deal will probably pass muster with regulators next year, since the only segment being harmed is patients with a loss of choice in medical care. Surely those insured by Aetna will need to visit CVS clinics in order not to incur huge medical co-pays for going out of network.
By 2019 you will no longer get six feet of coupons when checking out of CVS, you will get blood and other tests results on the tape.