Insurers, Retailers Rethink Clinics After ‘Exuberant’ Spending Spree

  • May 10, 2024

    Some insurers and retailers are backing away from their investments in provider verticals, especially retail health brands. Cigna's stake in VillageMD, a joint venture with Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., has lost money, and VillageMD will soon close many locations instead of pursuing aggressive growth. Walmart Inc. also said it will close its health care venture. 

    In recent years, diversified insurers have seen clinics in which they own a stake as a place where they can control cost of care and, ideally, improve member satisfaction by reducing the friction required to access basic care services — in addition to growing revenue in a segment that isn’t capped by medical loss ratio (MLR) rules. But that premise hasn’t always amounted to much more than a compelling story in practice. 

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  • Peter Johnson

    Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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