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CVS, Aetna shareholders greenlight merger

CVS Health and Aetna shareholders signed off on the proposed $69 billion merger of the 2 healthcare firms, which nonetheless wants the federal authorities’s approval.

The CVS-Aetna merger, which shareholders accredited by a 97% margin, is one in all many proposed mixtures that will mix the roles of suppliers, pharmacy profit managers and insurers.

Executives on the pharmacy chain and insurer hope to harness practically 10,000 CVS retail shops and greater than 1,100 walk-in MinuteClinic places to steer sufferers to lower-cost settings and ship extra complete care by leveraging massive information. The prospect of funneling care away from hospitals has caught health system executives’ attention.

The proposed deal would additionally bolster CVS Caremark, the retailer’s pharmacy profit administration arm, to compete on extra equal footing with the likes of UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx, in addition to Anthem’s new PBM IngenioRx, which is about to launch in 2020 in partnership with CVS Health. Cigna and Express Scripts additionally introduced a $67 billion merger final week, through which Cigna may higher management prices by insourcing the most important stand-alone PBM whereas absorbing its income.

Other examples of nontraditional partnerships within the trade embrace Optum’s proposed acquisition of dialysis provider DaVita Medical Group and insurer Humana buying part of Kindred Healthcare’s dwelling healthcare enterprise. Four well being methods are additionally working collectively to create their very own generic drug company with the purpose of lowering drug costs and stopping drug shortages.

Industry outsiders Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway have teamed as much as type a brand new healthcare firm to serve their staff.

CVS and Aetna agreed that the pharmacy big would take over the No. three U.S. well being insurer, which might turn out to be a stand-alone division inside CVS. The deal is anticipated to shut within the second half of the 12 months, pending customary approvals. While the federal authorities has nixed main horizontal mixtures of insurers together with Aetna and Humana, it has much less expertise in coping with vertical integration.

Alex Kacik is the hospital operations reporter for Modern Healthcare in Chicago. Aside from hospital operations, he covers provide chain, authorized and finance. Before becoming a member of Modern Healthcare in 2017, Kacik coated varied enterprise beats for seven years within the Santa Barbara, California area. He acquired a bachelor’s diploma in journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Central California.

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