Skip links

CVS-Aetna Causes Concerns in Hospitals and Rival Pharmacies Alike

The news spread like wildfire earlier this month when the final announcement regarding CVS Health and Aetna’s merger were confirmed.

CVS Health has had a steady growth on their own over the past few years, with upgrades like bringing in Epic Systems as their EMR of choice, to working on plans for becoming the first service to provide pharmaceuticals to patients via delivery. Now merging with one of the nation’s largest insurers, Aetna – the event has caused a stir, and causing concerns to hospitals. But why?

By the end of the of this transformation, there will be a clinic inside a CVS Health in nearly all locations across the country. With many patients under the Aetna policy, better health management is expected to take place as well as giving Aetna a peek into cheaper alternatives and lower drug costs provided by CVS and accepted by Aetna. The need for patients to visit an outside clinic or a health system’s nearby location will become unnecessary.

This was expected to happen even before talks of the merger took place. CVS began to polish their image as a leader in health when they stopped selling tobacco in 2014. They opened clinics in their locations that took care of basic health issues such as flu and providing flu shots, strep throat, and sinus infections.  Now, services including blood draws, and chronic condition monitoring have become available in a few locations, but soon enough, all CVS Clinic locations will be able to offer this service to their patients.

With the merger, CVS plans to develop a home check-up service in which nurses check in on Aetna-insured patients regularly. Ultimately, checkups on the senior community can help monitor their living conditions and help decrease preventable hospital visits.

Rival pharmacy Walgreens has begun their own efforts to one-up CVS from a different angle. On Monday of this week, they announced a rebranding effort aimed at younger consumers who pay attention to quality packaging and generic brands as opposed to the name brands they do sell. Over the past months, a wider range of cosmetics have become available at Walgreens to attempt and attract female consumers as well. Rather than focusing on their services as a pharmacy, Walgreens is attempting to target audiences looking for a quick one-stop-shop open 24 hours a day. In 2018, their logo will include the tagline, “Trusted Since 1901.”