Almost a year after the merger agreement, CVS Health has announced the acquisition of insurance giant Aetna. This merger combines one of the largest pharmacy chains in the United States and one of the largest insurance companies, with potential to improve the consumer health experience.
The $70 billion merger values Aetna at $212 per share and has a total transaction of $78 billion. According to a CVS Health press release, Aetna shareholders will receive $145.00 in cash and 0.8378 shares common stock of CVS Health. Also, the insurance company will continue to “operate as a standalone business within the CVS Health enterprise and will be led by members of its current management team.” Mark Bertolini, Aetna’s current CEO will continue to serve as a leading voice on the CVS board of directors. Together CVS and Aetna will offer a “Guaranteed Net cost” service that will pass 100% of drug rebates to health plan sponsors in an effort to provide more affordable options to consumers.
A new Model
CVS Health has begun work on a new healthcare model for the company, and according to the company, this new model “will introduce new programs and services designed to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs for all consumers.” The ultimate goals of this new model are to make healthcare accessible, simplify access to care, and lower costs. They will begin to roll out “test stores”, offering services that expand upon the existing Minute Clinic model. New services include help for patients managing chronic illness, nutrition counseling, behavioral counseling, and a variety of other offerings. Community-based programs are also in the process of implementation. The programs will focus on aiding those in “high-risk communities” who need preventative health screenings along with other chronic care needs.
Some experts that remain skeptical about how CVS Health will roll out the new offerings. Others are wary if this acquisition will really benefit consumers and lower costs. Only time will tell if this new merger will prove successful; it is a step in the right direction towards a healthcare system that works for the patient.