Jan 25, 2018 –  Marc O’Connor, Curant Health COO in PharmExec.com

It was widely reported in early January 2018 that, for the first time in history, healthcare became the United States’ largest source of jobs, surpassing the manufacturing and retail sectors. For many, the surprise was not that it happened, but that it happened so quickly. What else was not surprising? The growth exhibited in JPMorgan 2018 earlier this month.

While it is impossible to know the real numbers, it felt like there were more than the 8,000 registered attendees and 50,000 ancillary visitors to San Francisco for the big show. What did we learn?

Healthcare companies continue to expand their services through consolidation of all types

CVS/Aetna, Diplomat/National Pharmaceutical Services (PBM), Express Scripts/eviCore, McKesson/RxCrossroads, Cardinal/Medtronic Patient Care and many more mergers are recently completed or in the works. It looks like everyone in healthcare is trying to integrate vertically. What’s the motivation? Is it to provide more holistic solutions and value? Is it to demonstrate the growth analysts want to see? Is it about staying competitive or delivering a broader value message?

Sometimes these partnerships seem symbiotic. But not always. And they are not necessarily about more control of patients. CVS/Aetna is more about process; streamlining the interactions between Payers, PBMs and pharmacies in what can often be a contentious relationship.

Dan Michelson, CEO, Strata Decision Technology wrote in Becker’s Hospital Review, “The size and scale of these mergers is pretty stunning. Taking the pulse of the room, two things were clear. The first is there is no definition of scale anymore in this market. The second is that, despite this flurry of mergers, ‘getting really big’ is not the only destination.”

Each of these entities has their own rationale for consolidation. The ones that demonstrate themselves viable, as healthcare continues its grinding path to value, remain to be seen.

Provider integration is becoming a bigger talking point

Payers realize having real engagement and closer connectivity with providers is a valuable prospect. Payers also want providers to stay independent in the interest of competition.

Read the full article.

For more information on Curant Health services, contact Kristin Lindsey, Sr. Director of Marketing.