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    CVS-Aetna deal could be costly for independent physician practices


    Patients already see the benefits of retail-based care, from the ability to shop while they wait to every location knowing their name, insurance and other pertinent medical information—something electronic health records have failed to provide for various primary care physician locations via interoperability. So why wouldn’t patients visit one of many CVS locations in their community to get care, rather than one primary care office? 


    TRENDING ON OUR SITE: Physicians struggle to hold onto independence


    Once again, smaller physician practices will be up against a well-funded giant competing for their patients. But this time it isn’t a hospital. It’s a billion-dollar pharmacy chain who can not only encourage patients to come in for deals on everything from vitamins to stationary during their visit, but could possibly force Aetna plan members into their stores for some types of care.

    It’s never too early for physicians to remind patients that “convenient” care isn’t always the best care. 


    Keith L. Martin is editorial director of Medical Economics. Do you think the CVS-Aetna deal is good for physicians? Let your voice be heard. Contact us at [email protected]


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    • [email protected]
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    • Anonymous
      Wouldn't this be a STARK violation?
    • UBM User
      From my small pediatric practice, I look at Aetna/CVS as more of "bigger is better", and as evidence that patients' medical homes have been reduced to their EHR's. I fully expect CVS to become the primary care site for Aetna patients, especially with the Medical Practices Act making nurses independent from collaborative agreements. In my view, because Aetna has been the worst insurer with referrals and prior authorizations, such a move will decrease headaches for my staff. But, it will cost money, if we can't fill the empty appointment slots. And, who's up next, to further erode the doctor-patient relationship? After 34 years of building relationships with families, through multiple generations, I see that there could actually be an end to it, with convenience and metrics becoming more important than relationships. The CVS/Aetna merger may be the beginning of the end of independent practices, and the longitudinal, individual relationships that help make medicine more than a job. I've always said, that when it's no fun, anymore, I'm done, and this moves that day a little closer

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