Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is urging the Federal Commerce Fee to scrutinize CVS Well being’s deliberate acquisition of Medicare-focused major care supplier Oak Avenue Well being.
In a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan and Commissioners Alvaro Bedoya and Rebecca Slaughter, the progressive senator wrote the deal might decrease high quality of care and hike prices.
She additionally pointed to different acquisitions – together with UnitedHealth Group’s buy of residence well being supplier LHC Group, Walgreens‘ stake in major care firm VillageMD and its cope with CareCentrix, and Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical – as a part of a push towards vertical integration, „creating just a few giant healthcare conglomerates that management all points of sufferers’ healthcare journeys.“
CVS additionally owns insurer Aetna and pharmacy profit supervisor CVS Caremark. Final yr, the corporate introduced plans to purchase residence well being platform Signify Well being.
Warren famous the expansion of value-based care preparations has the potential to enhance well being outcomes and lower prices, however she added numerous healthcare corporations see „a major money-making alternative,“ particularly by buying major care or residence well being corporations that take Medicare Benefit plans.
„Given the potential threat that vertical integration might result in larger healthcare costs and decrease high quality of care, the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) ought to fastidiously scrutinize this deal, and others prefer it, and oppose any healthcare acquisition that may threaten competitors, improve costs and cut back high quality of care,“ Warren wrote within the letter. „The FTC also needs to retrospectively evaluation comparable consummated offers and problem in courtroom any mergers which have decreased competitors in violation of antitrust legal guidelines.“
CVS didn’t reply to a request for remark.
THE LARGER TREND
After weeks of rumors, CVS confirmed it had signed a $10.6 billion deal to buy Oak Avenue in early February. It marked one other transfer into the first care area for an enormous retailer, which has additionally seen exercise from corporations like Walgreens, Walmart and Amazon.
Consultants have famous the enlargement of retail healthcare might supply sufferers extra entry to care, as main retail pharmacies have areas throughout the U.S. But it surely’s additionally obligatory for the businesses to construct belief with sufferers as major care suppliers and arrange higher care coordination workflows.
„I feel that there is a variety of positives to retail gamers by way of catering to shopper preferences and offering care in a extra handy manner,“ Sanjula Jain, senior vice chairman of market technique and chief analysis officer at Trilliant Well being, informed MobiHealthNews in December. „However for lots of complicated care, acute care – that each American goes to want in some unspecified time in the future of their life – there’s a little bit extra fragmentation.“
Tracy Chu will supply extra element throughout her HIMSS23 session „Automation Improves Digital Schooling App Efficiency.“ It’s scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CT on the South Constructing, Degree 5, room S505.