The company is trying to be the doctor for people on Medicare
Mediation of the Connecticut Opioid Adverse Diseases Crisis: An Overview of the Cases Between CVS and OxyContin
The settlements of lawsuits brought against the two drug stores over their role in the crisis were worth more than $10 billion.
“These agreements will be the first resolutions that can be reached with pharmacy chains and will equip communities across the country with important tools to fight back against this epidemic and bring about positive change,” lawyers for local governments said. Billions of dollars have been paid by these companies in order to make improvements to their practice to try and reduce addiction moving forward.
“We are pleased to resolve these longstanding claims and putting them behind us is in the best interest of all parties, as well as our customers, colleagues and shareholders,” Thomas Moriarty, CVS chief policy officer and general counsel, said in a statement. We are committed to reducing illegitimate use of prescription opiate drugs and will continue our initiatives.
The companies noted they have have launched educational programs and installed safe disposal units for drugs in stores and police departments, among other measures designed to reduce misuse of opioids.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement that every player in the addiction industry would be held accountable for the millions of lives lost or devastated by the opiate epidemic. “The companies that helped to create and fuel this crisis must commit to changing their businesses practices, and to providing the resources needed for treatment, prevention and recovery.”
The CDC said the opiate crisis began in the 1990s with prescription opioids, followed by an increase in deaths from heroin in 2010 and then the emergence of synthetic Opioids like Fentanyl in 2013).
A proposed settlement between the Sackler family, who own the company, and the makers of the prescription drug opiate OxyContin would involve a minimum of $6 billion in cash, with profits going towards fighting the epidemic. That plan has been put on hold by a court.
The acquisition of Oak Street Health, a primary healthcare provider for adults on Medicare Advantage, by the State of New York, Massachusetts, and New York
States have until Dec. 31 to accept the settlements. Local governments will have an option to acquire a portion of the compensation if they do so. The state attorneys general inPennsylvania, New York, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, and North Carolina have all said they will accept.
The company announced Wednesday that it plans to pay $10.6 billion to acquire Oak Street Health, a primary care provider mainly for adults on Medicare Advantage. Oak Street has 160 health care clinics in 21 states.
Medicare Advantage is a type of Medicare health plan that is offered by private companies that contract with Medicare. It enrolls nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries.
Retail stores and basic MinuteClinics were built by the company for a long time. Also, it became a manager of pharmacy benefits. In November of last year, the pharmacy benefit manager purchased the health insurer, making it one of the largest insurers in the country. Although CVS has not been a primary care practice in the past with a network of doctors, the company has said it wants to move into the area.
Control costs is a priority for the company. Sean Nicholson, director of the cancer hospital program at Cornell University, said that in the future a insurance plan for Oak Street’s consumers could be offered.
Nicholson said health insurers have become more interested in purchasing primary care practices and physicians in the last three years.
Traditionally, health insurers have contracted with physicians, not employed them. But insurers believe that if they have a strong physician network, they can better control the cost and quality of medical care, he said.
Additionally, private Medicare plans typically offer higher reimbursement rates from the federal government than traditional Medicare, and CVS wants to capitalize on this, he said. The Biden administration announced a rule last week cracking down on Medicare private plans that have overcharged the federal government.
VillageMD Associated Walgreens and Associated Physicists: The VillageMD-Walgreens Deal Becomes VillageMD
(WBA) has attached doctors’ offices to hundreds of its stores in a deal with primary care network VillageMD and took a majority stake in the company. Backed by Walgreens (WBA), VillageMD purchased primary care provider Summit Health for $9 billion earlier this year.