The recent slew of mergers and acquisitions is part of a larger corporate transformation that is remaking American healthcare â€“ for the worse
A golden age of corporate medicine may be dawning. A slew of mergers and acquisitions looks set to transform American healthcare, drawing health insurance giants, pharmacy benefit managers, physiciansâ€™ practices, drugstores, surgical centers and â€œretail clinicsâ€� in pharmacies and supermarkets together into giant corporate healthcare blobs. Whether you view this as a positive development may depend on your stock portfolio: good for industry profits, perhaps, but almost certainly detrimental to the publicâ€™s health.
Last week, health insurance giant Humana bought a large physiciansâ€™ group based in Florida, which comes on the heels of recent news that retail behemoth Walmart may be angling to buy Humana. Meanwhile, drugstore giant CVS, which already runs a pharmaceutical benefits program and the nationâ€™s largest chain of retail clinics, is buying insurer Aetna for $69bn even as it expands into the dialysis game. And health insurer UnitedHealth Group has been gobbling up physiciansâ€™ practices from coast to coast, building a powerful â€œarmy of tens of thousands of physiciansâ€�, as Bloomberg puts it, alongside more than 200 surgical facilities and 230 urgent care centers.
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