The big news coming out of home care this week is CVS Health’s nearly $8 billion acquisition of Signify Health. What is not easy to grasp at this point, though, is just how important this purchase is.

Experts told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse that the move not only changes the trajectory  of one of the largest drug store players in the United States, but the industry at large. The question, which will continue to reveal itself in coming months, is precisely why. Here are a few related observations:

1. Primary care is becoming a dominant player in home health. With Signify Health providing so-called house call visits, this seems to be the engine driving the field going forward. The two longtime mainstays of home care — post-hospitalization home health and nonmedical home care — are expanding. House calls, which are a form of primary care, and can take place through both in-person doctor visits and telehealth, are now a legitimate part of the field.    

2. Value-based care continues to lead the way. One of the most attractive qualities of Signify was its acquisition of Caravan Health, a partner to over 170 providers participating in accountable care organizations (ACOs) serving Medicare beneficiaries. There is no question those players, like Signify, that understand value-based care and speak its language, will drive the field.

3. Data’s importance cannot be ignored. Signify’s sophisticated data analytics operation creates a gold mine of information that CVS can use to both expand its pharmacy business into the home and prove its value in home care to Medicare Advantage plans.

There is plenty more to mull and dissect regarding this deal going forward, but what is clear is that home care is an incredibly attractive market to mainstream retailers, from CVS to Walgreens to Amazon. With each transaction, home care as we know it will change and evolve. There is no doubt more to come on the impact of the Signify deal. Stay tuned.

Liza Berger is editor of McKnight’s Home Care. Email her at [email protected].