WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island is now home to the one of the largest companies in the country after CVS Health, already one of the nation’s biggest businesses, officially completed its acquisition of insurance provider Aetna.
The Woonsocket-based company announced the deal’s closure Wednesday, saying the $69 billion merger aims to build a simpler, more responsive and affordable health care experience for consumers by combining the resources of CVS with Aetna’s network of providers.
“Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” CVS Health President and CEO Larry Merlo said in a statement. “By delivering the combined capabilities of our two leading organizations, we will transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities through a new innovative health care model that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care.”
The acquisition received final approval from regulators, including the Department of Justice, earlier this year.
Over the summer, the American Medical Association urged regulators to block the merger, saying it would have anti-competitive effects on Medicare Part D, pharmacy services and health insurance.
CVS insisted that its offerings such as pharmacy services will still be available to any consumers, regardless of health insurer, while Aetna members will continue to have access to any pharmacy within its network.
“By fully integrating Aetna’s medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data, we can develop new ways to engage consumers in their total health and wellness through personal contacts and deeper collaboration with their primary care physicians,” Merlo added. “As a result, we expect patients will benefit from earlier interventions and better-connected care, leading to improved health outcomes and lower medical costs.”