The Buzz This Week
On Monday, CVS Health announced that it will acquire home healthcare company Signify Health for $8 billion. Signify Health was sought after by many healthcare and retail companies, including Amazon, UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, and Option Care Health Inc.
Signify Health offers analytics and technology to help a network of 10,000 clinicians provide in-home healthcare to 2.5 million patients across the United States. With its winning bid, CVS adds Signify Health's capabilities and clinician network to its existing portfolio of 40,000 providers; 1,100 MinuteClinic locations; 9,000 retail drug stores; and the nation’s third largest health insurer, Aetna. CVS also gains Caravan, Signify Health’s provider enablement business acquired in March 2022, which enables value-based care through its analytics and practice improvement solutions.
Acquiring Signify Health follows through on the strategy CVS’s President and CEO Karen Lynch outlined during the company’s 2nd quarter 2022 Earnings Call, saying CVS would “enhance our health services in 3 categories … primary care, provider enablement, and home health.” Signify Health’s provider enablement and home health capabilities check at least 2 of these boxes.
Additionally, Executive VP and CFO at CVS Shawn Guertin stated during CVS’ investor call that, “The strategy was never going to be a one and done …. There will be more things we’d [sic.] look at, but this gives us a profitable and a highly strategic base from which to start the journey.” The comments signal that Signify Health may not be the last deal for CVS as it pushes further into healthcare.
Why It Matters
The CVS-Signify Health deal highlights continued disruption in the industry, which positions nontraditional care providers to extend into the care continuum—with implications for how and where care is delivered and paid for, and by whom.
CVS is just the latest to seize the opportunity presented by the rise of care at home. BestBuy, Amazon, and Walgreens have also made their own forays into the industry with their acquisitions of Current Health, One Medical, and CareCentrix, respectively. UnitedOptum committed $5.4 billion to home health company LHC Group earlier this year, and Humana acquired Kindred at Home last year. The industry is likely to see more activity as home care continues to promise a higher-value alternative to nursing homes and post-acute care settings as well.
This interest in home will only intensify as hospital at home becomes a standard option for patients to receive care. As we discuss in two recent articles, a sizable volume of acute care—as much as 25%, according to various estimates of peer-reviewed research—could safely leave the confines of a hospital. The structural advantage health systems currently have may be lost by a lack of prioritization while payers and nontraditional care providers expand their capabilities to deliver care at home.
As the industry increasingly shifts to the home as a site of care, legacy patient-provider relationships and business will face disruption. Health systems would do well to consider how they are positioned to deliver care at home as an integrated part of their care models. This may include evaluating legacy home health assets and programs, while also rapidly evaluating the business case for launching a hospital at home program as part of their broader strategic and operational plans.
More broadly than care in the home, the CVS-Signify Health deal also underscores how attention on Medicare Advantage will remain high—and serve as a key driver for additional market activity. This growing market segment is prompting changes within an increasingly complex and competitive landscape, with implications for healthcare organizations across the spectrum. For health systems, new energy will be required to develop the right strategies and capabilities to effectively serve evolving consumer needs within the all-important senior population—which is likely to have increasing choice in how and where they access and receive care and manage their health.
How Signify Health Fits into CVS' Healthcare Strategy
After Signify Health, CVS Still Looking for More Deals
Home Health Care News
CVS to Acquire Signify Health In $8 Billion Blockbuster
Editorial advisor: Roger Ray, MD, Chief Physician Executive.