The news: Utah-based health system Intermountain Healthcare is closing most of its retail pharmacies (25 of 26) by next month and shifting its operations to CVS Pharmacy.
How we got here:
CVS is leading the retail pharmacy market. With nearly 10,000 locations, CVS' footprint surpasses other retail pharmacy giants like Walmart and Walgreens. Plus, consumers typically prefer the convenience of CVS pharmacy stores that offer more than just pharmacy services, according to Intermountain’s VP, Nanette Barensen.
Intermountain has been paring down on clinical care-focused ventures, where it’s seen success. For example, it was one of the two major health systems that spearheaded Moving Health Home—a coalition that’s advocating for hospital-at-home care. It’s also been an active player in adopting and investing in digital health solutions: For example, it’s tapped Omada’s diabetes prevention program, partnered with AI-driven clinical platform Notable Health, and teamed up with care planning solutions company Vynca.
The bigger picture: This is just one instance of many horizontal integrations happening across the healthcare ecosystem as digital health transformation demands greater synergies in the healthcare supply chain.
For example, since Intermountain and CVS have interwoven their pharmacy supply chains, it opens up opportunities for them to collaborate on future ventures now that they share a patient base.