While Walgreens Conducts Strategic Review Of Assets, CVS Health Considers Supplemental Benefit Cuts In MA

Earlier this week, Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) CEO Tim Wentworth teased a “strategic review” of the company’s assets, including those within the U.S. Healthcare segment. Meanwhile, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) CFO Tom Cowhey provided updates on where Aetna may go with its supplemental benefits in the near-term future. 

“We are now meaningfully looking at the entire portfolio of assets that we have to ensure that everything we have is going to drive the growth that we aspire to deliver,” Wentworth said Monday at the 44th annual TD Cowen Healthcare Conference.

Walgreens, like CVS Health, is betting a lot on its health care services division.


Walgreens’ U.S. Healthcare segment includes the care-at-home solutions platform CareCentrix, along with the primary care provider VillageMD, which it has invested over $6 billion into over recent years.

“In April, we are sitting down with our board and going through a strategic review,” Wentworth said. “There will not be a big bang after that, where we announce and unveil some incredibly new Walgreens. That will be the starting gun for a lot of work that we have to deliver.”

This comes about a month after Walgreens announced that it had a new leader of U.S. Healthcare.


Formerly, Jeff Driscoll – the ex-CEO of CareCentrix – was the head of that segment. Now, Mary Langowski has taken up the reins. Langowski previously served as the CEO of the managed services organization Solera Health. She also spent time at CVS, where she served as the chief strategy and corporate development officer.

“This doesn’t just happen overnight,” Wentworth said. “By and large, the broader set of questions that we’ve got to answer will probably take a couple of years to really begin to show fruit.”

Supplemental benefits

CVS Health has a similar segment to Walgreens’ U.S. Healthcare, which it dubs CVS Healthspire.

That includes Signify Health and Oak Street Health, among other assets.

But Cowhey’s most noteworthy comments – which came on Tuesday at the 45th Annual Raymond James Institutional Investor Conference – were around Aetna and supplemental benefits.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans have the flexibility to offer supplemental benefits through two pathways: the primarily health-related pathway and the Special Supplemental Benefits for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) pathway.

A benefit that can be provided through both pathways – and once a reason for much bullishness from personal care providers on MA – is in-home support services (IHSS).

While benefit offerings – and IHSS offerings – steadily rose for a few years, plans pulled back in 2024.

Aetna, which is a part of CVS, has still remained mostly committed to home-based care benefits.

That could change, however.

“What are some of the things that we’re going to need to look at?” Cowhey said. “I think supplemental benefits have to be on that list. I think ourselves – and probably all the industry – are going to have to look at all the benefits across the board and decide where it is that we want to cut. But I know that supplemental benefits will be part of that conversation.”

Companies featured in this article: