CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) has named Dr. Amar Desai the president of its newly formed Health Care Delivery organization. Desai’s appointment is effective Oct. 17.
In recent years, the company has been in the spotlight due to a number of strategic moves that have signaled a deeper investment in health care services, including home-based care. Along these lines, this announcement is indicative of CVS Health’s continued efforts in this space.
“This new organization will leverage the strength of the CVS Health portfolio to develop and implement payor-agnostic products and services,” Karen S. Lynch, president and CEO of CVS Health, said in a press statement. “Amar’s deep background in clinical delivery and value-based care will be an asset as we continue to deliver high quality health and wellness care to our members and consumers.”
In his new role, Desai will be at the helm of the company’s health services and its clinical delivery strategy.
Before joining CVS Health, Desai was the president and CEO of Optum Pacific West. In this role, he was in charge of an integrated delivery network that encompassed over 20,000 physicians and served 2.5 million patients.
Prior to that, he was the president of HealthCare Partners, a value-based medical group that serves more than 700,000 patients.
CVS Health’s home-based care and primary care focus
As a company, CVS Health has been vocal about their larger goal of moving the needle forward when it comes to consumer experience in health care.
In order to pull this off, CVS Health has identified a few areas of focus for the company. These areas are primary care, provider enablement and home health care.
“There are multiple pathways for us to make a mark on community health care and our ability to achieve our strategic goals,” Lynch said back in August, during the company’s Q2 earnings call. “We have very specific criteria that we look at as we’re evaluating our many options. We look to see if there’s a strong management team, a very strong tech stack, the ability to scale and a pathway to profitability.”
On the primary care side, the company threw its hat in the ring with another heavy hitter – Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) – in a bid to acquire membership-based primary care player One Medical (Nasdaq: ONEM).
Though Amazon would ultimately acquire One Medical for $3.9 billion in July, this did not deter CVS Health. The company reiterated that it would remain steadfast in its primary care efforts.
“We can’t be in primary care without M&A,” Lynch said during the earnings call. “We are being very disciplined, both strategically and financially, as we pursue our M&A strategy. M&A can be very fluid. You don’t necessarily design exactly how these deals get done. We are committed to extending our health services and we are very encouraged and confident that we’ll take the next step on this journey by the end of this year.”
The company saw success when moving on an acquisition target in one of its other main areas of focus — home-based care. In September, CVS Health entered into a definitive agreement to buy Signify Health (NYSE: SGFY) for the price tag of $8 billion.
“By acquiring Signify’s home health platform, we gain a foundation for future expansion of home health care delivery,” Lynch said on a joint call in September. “We will be able to design new care models that combine CVS Health resources with Signify’s capabilities, analytics and technology to deliver on our promise to expand our health service offerings and to help patients navigate to the best site of care.”
This deal was instrumental in CVS Health’s ability to fire off on its larger home-based care strategy.
As M&A will continue to play a key role in the company’s move towards primary care and home-based care, it’s important to note that Desai will likely have a hand in CVS Health’s next big acquisition.