CVS’ Merlo says COVID-19 made case for company’s diversification strategy

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CVS’ Merlo says COVID-19 made case for company’s diversification strategy

cbaker_admin
Fri, 10/16/2020 – 15:30

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CVS Health was focused on business transformation in the wake of its acquisition of Aetna, according to CEO Larry Merlo. He said the pandemic served to underscore CVS’ key strategic goal of making health care easier to access via the combined strength of its health plans, PBM tools, and community pharmacies. Merlo said, “The pandemic really became an opportunity to reprioritize elements of that transformation journey. It really brought our strategy to life in a much more meaningful way.” He made these comments during HLTH’s week-long virtual conference alongside Aetna President Karen Lynch. Merlo also noted the pandemic compelled the industry to accelerate the implementation of home health solutions and other strategies to serve patients where they are. He explained, “I think we’re now defining what omnichannel means for health and it really fits our strategy nicely.” However, Merlo also described health care as a “contact sport — eventually, you have to touch someone,” so offering an end-to-end approach that includes but does not only rely on digital options is essential.