• December 1, 2021

CVS to shut 900 shops in huge retail technique shift

Nov 19, 2021

Massive adjustments are coming for CVS Well being, the corporate introduced Thursday.

Over the subsequent three years, CVS Well being plans to shutter 900 pharmacies and intensify its efforts to reconceive its retail areas as websites for extra complete healthcare companies. The corporate, which additionally operates Aetna medical insurance and CVS Caremark pharmacy profit administration subsidiaries, introduced a associated senior govt management shakeup.

CVS Well being is not leaving conventional pharmacies behind, regardless that there might be fewer, however the firm is increasing the retail clinic presence at the moment led by its MinuteClinics. Wanting forward, CVS Well being envisions extra websites the place prospects can entry well being and wellness companies, each in individual and nearly. The shop closures will end in $1 billion to $1.2 billion in impairment expenses, the corporate reported to the Securities and Alternate Fee.

CVS Well being will weigh elements corresponding to native market dynamics, inhabitants shifts and native storefront density when deciding what shops to shut, a spokesperson stated. The corporate additionally will take into account the variety of Aetna and CVS Caremark prospects in an space.

“We stay targeted on the aggressive benefit offered by our presence in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, which enhances our quickly increasing digital presence,” CVS Well being President and CEO Karen Lynch stated in a information launch.

CVS Well being is responding to altering client calls for and habits, stated Suzanne Delbanco, govt director of Catalyst for Cost Reform.

With foot visitors lowering as a consequence of on-line orders and companies, CVS Well being possible intends to eliminate shops that aren’t working as profitably and make investments assets in altering the environment and choices at its different areas, Delbanco stated. “It simply displays a broader understanding of what the American healthcare client needs and expects, particularly post-pandemic,” she stated.

“This has the potential to offer a broad array of companies to a person healthcare buyer who may be getting their insurance coverage by way of Aetna, and handy companies by way of CVS,” Delbanco stated. “The power of CVS and Aetna to share information about that affected person might result in higher care coordination and effectivity.”

Extra broadly, the reorientation of CVS Well being’s retail technique displays bigger traits within the healthcare trade, stated Matt Wolf, director and healthcare senior analyst at RSM.

Though bodily areas are nonetheless vital for therapy, many healthcare firms are racing to cross limitations and deploy digital care choices to turn out to be the “Fb or Amazon of healthcare,” Wolf stated. “I did not get the sense that [CVS is] exiting markets a lot as they’re simply eradicating a few of the extra redundant areas and shifting a few of their consideration and funding from bodily presence to digital presence,” he stated.

A number of govt strikes went together with CVS Well being’s new plans for its pharmacies and clinics. The corporate elevated Prem Shah to chief pharmacy officer efficient instantly. On Jan. 1, Shah and Michelle Peluso, at the moment govt vp and chief buyer officer, will turn out to be co-presidents of the corporate’s retail operations.

Neela Montgomery, president of CVS Well being’s pharmacies, will depart the corporate at 12 months’s finish.

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