CVS Health Completes Acquisition of Aetna

CVS Health announced this week that it has completed its acquisition of Aetna. The possibilities for this merger to dramatically reshape private brand at the combined company is exciting. The two have the opportunity to create a private brand portfolio that abandons the traditional clichés of private label in favor of customer-focused solutions.

CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo

“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,” CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. 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.”

“Medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data” the potential for the entire CVS business and its private brands is staggering.

The press release continues below.

“Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” declared 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.”

Added Merlo, “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. 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 combined company will connect consumers with the powerful health resources of CVS Health in communities across the country and Aetna’s network of providers to help remove barriers to high-quality care and build lasting relationships with consumers, making it easier for consumers to access the information, resources and services they need to achieve their best health.

Access is a critical component of building a simpler and more responsive and affordable health care experience for consumers. New products and services developed by the combined company will be broadly available to the health care marketplace, regardless of one’s insurer, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) or pharmacy of choice. Additionally, CVS Health offerings, including retail pharmacy services, specialty pharmacy and long-term care, walk-in clinical services, and PBM services, will continue to be fully accessible to other health plans. Aetna members will also continue to have a broad network of pharmacies, including community-based independent pharmacies, available to fill their prescriptions. CVS Pharmacy will continue to participate within the pharmacy networks for other PBMs and health plans.

“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.”

Coordination among physicians, other health care providers and caregivers, and the health care professionals at CVS Health, combined with expanded health screenings and advanced connected devices, can help providers predict and prevent major health events before they occur by, for example, identifying pre-diabetes symptoms or the warning signs of a heart attack. This will be done by remotely monitoring key health vitals or helping to ensure patients with chronic diseases take their medications as prescribed, which can improve patient health and avoid costly adverse events.

“Health care delivery is changing before our eyes and we are excited to be in the vanguard of that change. 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 extend our physical presence in real-time to meet their needs,” said Merlo.

First Phase of New Programs and Services for Consumers Getting Underway

CVS Health has begun to put the foundational pieces of its new health care model in place and, in the coming months, will introduce new programs and services designed to increase access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs for all consumers.  In particular, these programs will target better, more efficient management of chronic disease using the networks, technology and the people of the combined company.

Enhanced health services in the community will include a range of services focused on self-management for patients with chronic conditions, expansion of services at MinuteClinic, nutritional and behavioral counseling and benefit navigation support, as well as assistance with durable medical equipment, digital health apps and connected devices.

Among other activities, CVS Health will build on its successful Project Health screening events at CVS Pharmacy and Aetna’s commitment to building healthier communities to offer new preventive health screenings in communities that are identified as high-risk for certain health challenges. These community-based programs will aim to improve patients’ health outcomes through expanded preventive health screenings and support in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of chronic diseases that can be effectively treated with prescription drugs and enhanced care management, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. CVS Health will work with local community partners to provide patients who are diagnosed for the first time with the follow up they need. To support these communities and newly diagnosed patients, MinuteClinic will also be introducing newly expanded chronic care management services.

Additionally, CVS Health is developing innovative new medical cost reduction programs to improve medication adherence and avoid hospital readmissions and unnecessary emergency room visits. This will include timelier and more comprehensive medication reviews as well as expanded services and hours at select MinuteClinic locations to reduce inappropriate emergency room use.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.