The trend: Competition is heating up in the retail health space, even beyond providing low-acuity care at clinics. Entities such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart are expanding into areas of healthcare like digital health, home health, specialty and urgent care, and health insurance through M&A and partnerships.
Here’s a look back at the 3 biggest moves retail health players made in 2022 and the signals these developments are sending for the year ahead.
1. Walgreens-owned VillageMD reached a deal to acquire multispecialty physician group Summit Health, the parent entity of urgent care provider CityMD, for $8.9 billion.
Walgreens recently took full ownership of tech-based home health company CareCentrix. That means it will have retail health, primary care, home healthcare, specialty care, and urgent care all under its umbrella once the deal closes. A health tech-enablement acquisition could come next, per comments made by company execs on recent earnings calls.
2. CVS bought home health tech player Signify Health for $8 billion.
3. Walmart partnered with UnitedHealth Group to a) sell co-branded Medicare Advantage policies in Georgia and b) roll out data analytics tools from Optum—part of UHG—for Walmart Health clinics in Georgia and Florida.
What’s in store for 2023? Each of these three prominent retail health companies made meaningful moves this year to improve their standing as major industry players. And don’t expect a slowdown early on in 2023.
We predict CVS will be the most aggressive player in terms of M&A since it’s been sniffing around the primary care space and won’t be able to match Walgreens’ physician practice footprint once the Summit deal closes. Walmart’s healthcare ambitions have recently been more tepid and is dealing with losing key executives.
In the meantime, these retail health companies and others will continue building out clinics where they challenge incumbent primary care providers on their ability to deliver care in convenient locations with simple navigation and transparent pricing.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Digital Health Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the healthcare industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.