Value-based care is the cornerstone of improved quality outcomes for patients. Treating patients is no longer just about fixing the primary problem but on making healthcare proactive by preventing problems before they start. Value-based programs have already been put in place to reward healthcare providers for the quality of care they give to patients and not the quantity of care resulting in better health populations and with lower costs of healthcare. Two women CEOs at the helm of the largest pharmacy chains, Walgreens and CVS, presented at this year’s JPMorgan healthcare conference to discuss what steps they are taking in 2023 to incorporate value-based care into their work
CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance
CVS Health, led by CEO Karen Lynch, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, led by CEO Roz Brewer, achieve massive profits from their retail pharmacy sector. However, their healthcare assets targeting primary care services, healthcare benefits, and specialty care are what make these big box pharmacies ubiquitous throughout the whole patient journey.
CVS Health has three major foundational businesses which include Aetna, their health care benefits segment, CVS Caremark, the pharmacy services segment, and CVS pharmacy, the retail segment.
Walgreens Boots Alliance competes in a similar way offering a multitude of healthcare services to provide convenient, low-cost, quality healthcare to their patients. Walgreen’s leading healthcare assets include their retail pharmacy providing wellness and prevention, health corners providing pre-acute care, VillageMD clinics to provide primary and multi-specialty care, speciality care through AllianceRx, and finally the pending acquisition of CareCentrix to provide post-acute care.
Both companies are focusing on partnerships and collaborations to expand their services and integrate value-based care. At the JPMorgan conference, CVS spoke on their pending acquisition of Signify Health while Walgreens Boots Alliance spoke on their recent full acquisition of VillageMD in their 2023 strategic visions.
CVS Health Signify Health acquisition
With over 24 million medical benefits members and 110 million pharmacy members, CVS touches 1 out of 3 Americans every year. At the conference, they introduced 3 strategies to take on value-based care:
- Primary Care Services – Build Consumer-centric, next-generation clinics serving as a focal point of care.
- Home Health – Home solutions to extend the reach and performance of primary care
- Physician Enablement – Provider tools and solutions to enable value-based models
Carbon Health announced that it has received a $100 million investment from CVS Health Ventures to expand accessibility to its primary care model “Connective Care.” CVS Health will also pilot the model in some of its own locations. Currently, CVS is delivering its primary care services through the MinuteClinic. MinuteClinic is a medical clinic located inside select CVS stores equipped with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide quick and quality medical care to patients. The pending acquisition of Signfy Health which was announced in September of last year will help CVS target practice improvement solutions and home health solutions in their network in 2023. Signify Health’s network of clinicains use home-based visits to assess patients and then connect them to appropriate follow-up care as well as provide community-based resources. Home visits remove barriers to quality healthcare, such as lack of transportation and elderly patients who live alone or deal with mobility problems can greatly benefit from these services. On average, Signify Health’s clinicians spend 2.5 times longer with a patient at their home than providers spend in an average office visit. Signify Health also acquired Caravan health which will bring together an even larger network of physicians.
“Together with Signify, we’ll have a strong foundation for developing new products consistent with our payer-agnostic approach. We’ll continue to work diligently to identify additional assets, including primary care capabilities that will complement our foundational businesses and further advance our strategic vision,” said Karen Lynch CEO at the 2023 JPM investor’s call.
Walgreens Boots Alliance & VillageMD acquisition
Walgreens Boots Aliance is also making great strides in 2023 to enable value-based care. In their JPMorgan presentation, the company discussed four strategic priorities, one of them being to build on their consumer-centric healthcare solutions to deliver value across the care continuum. This year, Walgreens Health Corner, launched in 2020 to provide physical and digital space for patients to be on track with their healthcare in between their doctor’s appointments, will continue to expand in 2023.
While the health corners target pre-acute care, the investment and acquisition of VillageMD will help provide affordable healthcare services in the local communities. VillageMD & its health specialists deliver high-quality, personalized primary care for each patient, enabling physicians to move from traditional fee-for-service to risk-based care models. As noted in the company’s investor call, by 2025, 600 VillageMD clinics will open next to Walgreens Pharmacies in more than 30 U.S. markets, and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of these practices will be in medically underserved communities.
“We recognize the critical importance of scale in value-based care delivery and the density in attractive markets. This highly strategic transaction expands VillageMD’s addressable market with primary care, multispecialty and urgent care and reinforces our approach across the care continuum,” said CEO Roz Brewer in her 2023 JPM Healthcare conference presentation.
Executives have proved that the greatest opportunity to interact with consumers of healthcare and related products and services is through primary care. Providers, payers and retailers were focused on strong primary care strategies at this January’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare conference and plan to deliver value-based care programs that drive health equity and community heatlh delivery thorugh 2023.