The US is entering a golden age of corporate medicine | Adam Gaffney

The recent slew of mergers and acquisitions is part of a larger corporate transformation that is remaking American healthcare – 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, physicians’ practices, drugstores, surgical centers and “retail clinics� 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 public’s health.

Last week, health insurance giant Humana bought a large physicians’ 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 nation’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 physicians’ practices from coast to coast, building a powerful “army of tens of thousands of physicians�, as Bloomberg puts it, alongside more than 200 surgical facilities and 230 urgent care centers.

Related: Healthcare is a huge industry – no wonder Amazon is muscling in | John Naughton

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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