Woonsocket, RI—CVS completed their $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, CVS announced today in a press release.
The combined company will use CVS pharmacies to make healthcare cheaper and more accessible to Aetna customers.
Larry J. Merlo, CVS health president and chief executive officer, said: “Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry. 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.”
The statement points out that “Access is a critical component of building a simpler and more responsive and affordable health care experience for consumers.”
The Wall Street Journal quotes Merlo as saying that the company will quickly introduce new initiatives. A handful of planned new pilot stores will open in the first half of the first quarter of 2019. Merlo said that the company expects to quickly grasp which elements of the pilots are effective.
One of those initiatives would involve remodeling existing locations to be part of the planned hub-and-spoke setup. A geographic area would have one main pharmacy offering a large, upgraded array of services, surrounded by other, smaller drugstores, referring patients to the hub when needed.
Other changes involve efforts to help patients with diet and nutrition issues and to guide them in understanding CVS’s health plan offerings.
CVS expects to save more than $750 million in the second year of its deal.