Washington Post: CVS would add primary care to its health empire with $10.6 billion deal

February 8, 2023 Media

CVS Health is buying Oak Street Health for $10.6 billion, adding 169 urgent care centers in 21 states to a health-care empire that already includes a leading insurer and a near-ubiquitous drugstore chain.

Oak Street, a primary care provider, already has plans to nearly double its footprint to more than 300 care centers by 2026. It largely serves lower- to middle-income seniors on Medicare Advantage plans. More than half of those patients have a food, housing or isolation risk factor, CVS said.

The deal announced Wednesday fits CVS’s focus on what chief executive Karen Lynch described as “value-basedofferings.” Investors cheered the news, with CVS Health Corp. stock rising 4.5 percent by midafternoon.

“By purchasing Oak Street Health, CVS hopes to take even more control of insurance, doctors, medical records, and pharmacies across the country,” said Sara Sirota, analyst at the American Economic Liberties Project.

She called on the Federal Trade Commission to consider blocking the deal to protect seniors who “will have little choice but to rely on CVS’s notoriously poor customer service model.”