How Vertical Integration Will Change Health Care Administration


Doug Long, MBA, vice president of industry relations at IQVIA, discusses how vertical integration will affect health care delivery. 


We’ll have to see how this all plays out. I understand the theory. So you’ve got 3 big cases. You know, you’ve got the ones that are most vertically integrated: CVS with Aetna, the insurance company, and Caremark the PBM, specialty pharmacy, retail pharmacy, and MinuteClinic. So they own all the pieces. The other one, Cigna and Express Scripts, the insurance company is buying the PBM. And then you have Optum which has UnitedHealthcare, it has Optum the PBM, and they have a lot of other things. They just bought nursing home provider DaVita. So 3 big integrated players. The concept is that one of the things is going to lowest cost of care, lowest cost site of care, that’ll be very interesting to see, you know, how MinuteClinic plays a role in that. Because the hypothesis is that, first of all the most expensive place to go is the hospital, so if you can find other places that you can treat patients, and that might even be teledocs and so forth, that they’ll certainly be explored. So it’s something that is going to take a while to play out but it’ll be very interesting to look at.