CVS Health Flirts with Idea of Expanding into Medicare Home Health Care

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) mentioned home-based care from time to time when discussing strategy pre-2020.

Over the last two years, however, those mentions have become anything but rare. And when an analyst asked on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call whether CVS may get further into Medicare-based home health soon, CVS Health CFO Shawn Guertin answered with a definitive “yes.”

“It’s hard to predict the exact order with which things will potentially show up, if this is something you decide that you’d rather acquire than build,” Guertin said on Wednesday’s call. “But yes, absolutely, [we’re interested in] things that make sense to sort of extend the care continuum – particularly to a Medicare population. [That] would make a lot of sense and they’d be high on the list.”


The comment also suggests that CVS may be interested in acquiring home-based care agencies in the future.

“Consumers are a major force driving change in health care, and we continue to engage successfully with individuals in more places and on their terms – virtually, in the home and in their local community,” CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said. 

Reaching patients where they are is a more effective way to treat “costly and complex health conditions,” such as diabetes, cancer and chronic kidney disease, Lynch added. 


CVS Health’s revenue totaled $76.6 billion in the fourth quarter, an over 10% increase from the $69.6 billion it brought in over the same period last year. In 2021, the company’s overall revenue was $292 billion, an 8.7% increase compared to the prior year. 

In December, the company laid out its strategy to “revolutionize” the consumer experience. Details of that strategy included investing more in its primary care, digital and omnichannel health services, including home health care.

“Now is the time to undertake our next major evolution and capitalize on our role as the leading health solutions company in America,” Lynch said at the company’s investor day. “Ultimately, this plan is only possible with our unique combination of assets, which will allow us to lower costs, increase access to quality care and improve health outcomes for consumers, patients and members.”

Other retailers are on the same path. Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA), for instance, has made similar efforts to reach patients in their homes and communities.

Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), meanwhile, just recently expanded “Amazon Care” – its virtual and at-home platform – to 20 new cities across the country.

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