Halloween isn’t here yet, but a frightening Halloween Health Wonk Review is already making the rounds. Joe Paduda scares the health out of me over at Managed Care Matters!
The combination of CVS and Aetna will work out great for the investment bankers and members of senior management who are able to cash out. Beyond that I’m skeptical about what value this colossus will add to the health care equation.
When the deal was announced I expressed skepticism about the rationale (CVS + Aetna. Are we sure this adds up?)
If the idea is to get health insurers to offer plans that favor retail clinics, why not just contract with those plans? Aetna is a big company but as a national plan its market share in many geographies is relatively modest. Often –like here in Massachusetts– the local Blue Cross has the biggest market share. If CVS is big and powerful enough to actually buy Aetna, surely it can get that company and others to come to terms on retail clinics.
Now that the deal is done, Chief Executive asked me for my take. (CVS-Aetna merger approved by DOJ: What CEOs should know). They put me, quite rightly, in the “skeptical” category and quoted some of my concerns.
Xpostfactoid hosts the Map of Malfunction issue of the Health Wonk Review. He describes it –accurately– as “a smorgasbord of smart takes on the morphing ACA marketplace; various dysfunctions (and one or two functions) of U.S. health care; and political wars over Medicare and the ACA.”
You may be glued to your seat today for the Kavanaugh hearing, but you can read the Review when you take a break.
It’s time for the Waning days of summer edition of the Health Wonk Review, hosted by Julie Ferguson at Workers’ Comp Insider. Go check it out.
Although I have not had time for a lot of blogging this summer (waning days or otherwise) one of my posts and one videocast that includes me are featured.
Optum is a big, successful subsidiary of United HealthCare. In recent years it’s taken to buying up provider organizations including physician practices. Optum is pouring $250 million into the acquisition and expansion of Reliant Medical Group in Worcester, outbidding traditional providers and injecting new competitive juice into the market.
Reliant –formerly Fallon Clinic– has 2600 employees and is almost 90 years old. Here’s what I told the Worcester Telegram:
“A lot of these systems are under strain,” said David E. Williams, president of the Health Business Group, a Boston-based consulting firm. “I think what you’re seeing at the same time is there are some national organizations, health plans and companies like Optum that do have a lot of capital and that have diversified businesses that are looking for growth opportunities.”