CVS Aquires Aetna, to create CVS Healthcare.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal, in a front page article, addressed the pending acquisition of Aetna by CVS Healthcare.

The piece focused on the panic that the deal is causing many healthcare players. They’re concerned over the combination of a giant retail delivery platform, the CVS stores, with the health insurance, managed care, and huge patient database of Aetna. They see it as a threat to more traditional health insurance companies as well as to pharmacies and to medical groups.

There’s another lesson here, something I’ve touched on before on the blog in connection with a post regarding pharmacies beginning to encroach on physician practice (read The Pharmacy Will See Your Patients Now).

The lesson is this: Healthcare was once very “silo-ized.” There were, for example, pharmacies that were only pharmacies, insurance companies that only sold insurance, hospitals that provided only the facility not professional services, and so on. But today, those walls are breaking down with incredible speed. 

The opportunity for physicians and players smaller than the CVSs of the world is to understand that the membranes between healthcare “silos,” which were once completely impermeable, are not only now becoming semi-permeable, they’re becoming almost completely permeable.

Courtesy of Mark Weiss Blog

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