CVS illustration on smartphone

CVS Health’s acquisition of Signify Health is just the start of the company’s ambitious expansion into home care and primary care. CVS executives made that clear to investors Tuesday morning at the Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare Conference.

“We have the reach. We have the engagement. We have the digital connections. We have the retail connections. We have the home connections,” CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch told the audience. “We can meet consumers wherever they are on their entire health journey.”

The $8 billion purchase of Signify announced last week not only gives CVS access to Signify’s 2.5 million patients through in-home and virtual visits, but it also gives the healthcare company a leg up as it expands into value-based care. Signify’s Caravan Health  helps accountable care organizations and health systems excel in value-based care programs, which tie reimbursements to patient outcomes, not on the number of services provided. Home health is a vital component of the value-based care model.

CVS sees the model as an effective tool in helping the company better manage the chronic conditions of the 100 million patients it touches through its retail outlets and Aetna health insurance division, according to CFO Shawn Guertin. The ability to leverage value-based care relationships will help CVS determine the most effective way to deliver care either at home or elsewhere, he said. 

“We can use our Minute Clinics and other CVS assets to bolster this,” Guertin explained. “I think that is a winning formula.” 

CVS and other mega-retailers, including Walgreens Boots Alliance and Amazon, are trying to revolutionize healthcare through scale and the delivery of care into the home. Late last  month, Walgreens closed on its acquisition of CareCentrix, an independent home-centered platform that coordinates care to the home for health plans, patients and providers. In July, Amazon announced it would buy One Medical Care, a technology-powered primary care firm that provides in-home and virtual visits to patients. 

All three providers have either hinted or said outright that they continue to be on the hunt for more firms that could move them deeper into the home. In July, Walgreens CEO Rosiland Brewer told analysts during an earnings call the company hoped to make another important acquisition by the end of the year. 

“We remain committed to that in order to really come full circle in that space,” Brewer said at the time.