“Our Take” is Corporate Synergies commentary on employee benefits and insurance topics that are in the news. This inaugural article reviews CVS Health Hubs.
Since CVS announced its plans to buy insurance carrier Aetna in December 2017, many experts, including ours, speculated how the acquisition and other similar ones would change healthcare. As we expected, the national pharmacy chain announced that it will likely use this merger to create “CVS health hubs” at its clinics, continuing their trend of integrating pharmacies with healthcare.
According to CVS, health hubs would bring additional services than what their MinuteClinics offer, including screenings and services to help diagnose and manage chronic conditions like obesity and diabetes.
The collapsing of layers within the healthcare system would seem like a move in the right direction. However, some would argue these mergers create a monopoly that protects this highly profitable industry, which has been met with so much frustration from the paying public. Our hope is that these giant consolidations will not value profitability over affordable care. But let’s not be naive. It’s a business and the largest one at that.
As a broker, we know that every employer has been struggling to help employees with wellness; some have turned to apps and concierges to help their employees meet certain wellness goals. Providing more services in a CVS, where consumers shop and frequently pick up prescriptions, is yet another way to make it easier to get care.
Of course, this works best for employers and consumers with Aetna plans. But it’ll be interesting to see how CVS health hubs are put into action and how other insurance carriers respond. Let’s hope that better access does not come at a higher price.
Reuters reported on the CVS health hubs here.
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