Volume V, Issue 11

March 12, 2018
Cigna agrees to buy Express Scripts for $67 billion  
A 3/8/18 Cigna.com press release reveals that Cigna Corporation and Express Scripts Holding Company have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Cigna will acquire Express Scripts in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $67 billion, including Cigna's assumption of approximately $15 billion in Express Scripts debt.  

"Cigna's acquisition of Express Scripts brings together two complementary customer-centric services companies, well-positioned to drive greater quality and affordability for customers," said David M. Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cigna.

Mr. Cordani's words are certainly uplifting. Whether or not his forecast is correct remains to be seen. First the deal has to be approved by regulators. If the deal does get approved, it may drive quality and affordability to consumers. On the other hand, the new company might be tempted to take advantage of the new efficiencies and market power by pocketing the extra profit. Lastly this decision was probably necessary given that last year rival Anthem announced a new partnership with CVS to launch a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) called IngenioRx. Meanwhile, another major competitor, UnitedHealth, already has its own PBM, OptumRX.
Remarks on Value-Based Transformation to the Federation of American Hospitals 
Alex M. Azar II provided remarks to the Federation of American Hospitals on March 5, 2018 in Washington, D.C.

According to Mr. Azar:

There is no turning back to an unsustainable system that pays for procedures rather than value. In fact, the only option is to charge forward - for HHS to take bolder action, and for providers and payers to join with us. This administration and this President are not interested in incremental steps. We are unafraid of disrupting existing arrangements simply because they're backed by powerful special interests.
Arkansas becomes third U.S. state to add Medicaid work requirements
Arkansas on Monday became the third U.S. state to require that Medicaid recipients work or participate in employment activities as a condition of receiving health insurance, according to a Reuters post dated 3/5/18.

The Trump administration continues to approve state requests that fundamentally change the 50-year-old program.



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Florida Health Industry Week in Review is published every Monday by

Each Monday morning we share the top healthcare headlines of the previous week and summarize
What Happened (WH) and
Why It Matters (WIM).

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