Retail suppliers are flowing into the healthcare delivery market left open by the political vacuum around healthcare reform. The implications are profound but not always obvious. Retailers like CVS Health and now Walmart are taking aim at extensive healthcare delivery operations and, unlike traditional medical practices, they know how to generate customer satisfaction while reducing costs.
It is clear that CVS Health intends to become a healthcare provider nationwide. This strategy is based in part upon its 9,500+ retail pharmacies and 1,100 in-store clinics, but also includes their 90 infusion centers, their declared intention to support in-home dialysis and their ownership of Omnicare, the largest Consultant Pharmacy in the US. They have recently open three Health Hub store in Texas offering a wide range of chronic disease management services. And, of course, we cannot forget their acquisition of Aetna. Thee vertical integration of health plans, PBMs and retail health centers will be a strong force in the market and one that pharma companies will be concerned about.
Walmart seems to be following the same path, as evidenced by their acquisition of Humana. Less well known is their commitment to upgrade their store sites to campuses including restaurants, entertains and….healthcare.
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