40 things to know about CVS Health

CVS Health has grown from a single store to a healthcare giant, operating pharmacies, a major insurer and primary and home care clinics. 

Here are 40 things to know about CVS Health and its subsidiaries. 

Editor's note: This story was first published in June 2023 and updated June 21, 2024. 

History 

  1. The first CVS Health store, which sold health and beauty products, opened in Lowell, Mass., in 1963. 

  2. By 1988, the pharmacy chain had 750 stores. 

  3. In 2006, the company acquired MinuteClinic, an in-store health clinic. 

  4. The chain acquired Caremark, a pharmaceutical benefit manager, in 2007. 

  5. In 2015, the company acquired retail chain Target's pharmacies for $1.9 billion.
     
  6. In 2018, CVS Health acquired Aetna in a $70 billion deal, the largest healthcare merger in U.S. history. 

  7. The company operates more than 9,000 retail stores and more than 1,100 in-store clinics. 

  8. After acquiring Aetna, the company said it would shift its focus from retail to healthcare, dedicating more in-store space to provider services. In 2021, the company said it would close 900 stores over the next three years. 

  9. In October 2022, CVS Health CEO Karen Lynch said the company plans to be in charge of the "entire spectrum of someone's healthcare journey." 

Fast facts 

  1. CVS Health is headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I. 

  2. The company has more than 300,000 employees, according to its 2023 year-end report. 

  3. CVS Health was ranked sixth in the Fortune 500 in 2024. It was the second-largest healthcare company in the U.S., behind UnitedHealth Group. 

  4. The company brought in $357.8 billion in revenue in 2023. 

  5. The company's health services segment, which includes its pharmaceutical benefit manager, made up around 50 percent of the company's $88.4 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2024. 

  6. Health benefits, including Aetna, and pharmacy and consumer wellness each made up around 30 percent of the company's first quarter revenue.
     
  7. The company reported $1.1 billion in profit in the first quarter of 2024. 

Leadership

  1. 18. Karen Lynch is CEO of CVS Health, a role she has held since 2021. She was previously president of Aetna. 

  2. Ms. Lynch was paid $21.6 million in total compensation in 2023. 

  3. Ms. Lynch, the highest-ranking female CEO on the Fortune 500, was named one of Time magazine's most influential people in 2022.
     
  4. In January, Tom Cowhey was named CFO of CVS Health. He replaced Shawn Guertin, who stepped down for health reasons. 

  5. The median employee-to-CEO pay ratio at the company was 392 to 1 in 2023. CVS employees were paid a median salary of $55,237 in 2023. 

  6. Roger Farah is the chair of CVS Health's board, a role he has held since 2022. He is the former co-chief executive officer and executive director of retailer Tory Burch. He also serves on the board of jewelry retailer Tiffany and Co. and auto insurer Progressive.

Aetna 

  1. Aetna was first established as the Aetna Life Insurance company in 1819, headquartered in Hartford, Conn. 

  2. The company created its HMO subsidiary in 1975. 

  3. Aetna acquired Prudential Health in 1998 for $1 billion, creating the largest managed-care company at the time, with 22.4 million members. 

  4. Aetna had 26.8 million medical insurance members at the end of the first quarter of 2024. 

  5. The payer had 18.8 million commercial members in the first quarter of 2024. 

  6. Aetna is the third-largest Medicare Advantage provider, behind UnitedHealthcare and Humana. The insurer had 4.2 million MA members at the end of the first quarter of 2024.

  7. The company had 2.4 million Medicaid managed care members at the end of the first quarter of 2024. 

  8. Brian Kane became president of Aetna in September. Mr. Kane previously was CFO of Humana. 

  9. In January, Mr. Kane said CVS Health is still in the "early innings" of integrating Aetna into the company. 

Recent acquisitions 

  1. In May 2023, CVS Health completed its acquisition of primary care company Oak Street Health in a $10.6 billion deal. Oak Street Health operates more than 160 clinics in 21 states. 

  2. In March, the company closed its acquisition of Signify Health, which provides analytics and technology to payers, in a $8 billion deal. Signify Health will still serve its 50 health plan clients, but Aetna will benefit from the home-health focused company's extensive value-based care network.  

  3. In May 2023, Ms. Lynch said the company will slow down on mergers and acquistions to integrate the two multibillion dollar assets it purchased in the first months of 2023. 

Recent headlines 

  1. Federal courts have sided with Cigna in a noncompete dispute, barring a former Cigna executive from taking a role as CVS' chief product officer. 

  2. Aetna could lose up to 10% of its Medicare Advantage members in 2025, Mr. Cowhey told investors. Executives have said they will prioritize "margins over membership" in Medicare Advantage in the coming year, as medical costs in the business rise and CMS cuts back on reimbursements. 

  3. Aetna is among the major insurers that allegedly made millions in fees by using MultiPlan, a data analytics firm, to determine how much to pay providers for out-of-network claims, according to an investigation by The New York Times. 

  4. CVS laid off around 5,000 employees in at least nine states in 2023. 

  5. Blue Shield of California chose Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. and Amazon Pharmacy as its preferred pharmacy providers over CVS Caremark. CVS continues providing specialty medications and services for Blue Shield of California for patients with complex conditions.

  6. A New York State Supreme Court judge blocked the implementation of New York City's plan to switch 250,000 retired city employees from traditional Medicare to an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan. The $15 billion contract was one of the largest contracts Aetna had ever been awarded, executives said. 

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