CVS Health in 'early innings' of Aetna integration, new president says

Aetna President Brian Kane said CVS Health is still in the "early innings" of integrating the payer into the company, the Hartford Business Journal reported Jan. 8.

CVS Health acquired Aetna in 2018. Mr. Kane told the news outlet that Aetna's integration into the company was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said significant changes are likely in the next five years and that there will be a "really tight ecosystem between payer, provider and pharmacy."

He said the key to the integration will be leveraging CVS Health's "various businesses and technology platforms to improve patient care and lower costs." 

Mr. Kane, who became executive vice president of CVS Health and president of Aetna in September, said there are no plans to shed the Aetna brand.        

He said Aetna expects double-digit revenue growth in its Medicare Advantage business in 2024, according to the report. He is also expecting an improved overall bottom-line performance due to an increase in its quality and customer satisfaction rankings from CMS. 

Mr. Kane also said there are no plans for future Aetna layoffs, nor are there plans for the company to leave Hartford, Conn., where it is based. In 2023, CVS Health laid off nearly 600 Aetna employees, including 336 Connecticut residents. Those cuts were among 5,000 CVS Health made enterprisewide. 

"I want to grow the business," he told the news outlet. "But that's something we feel terrible about. It's been tough, frankly, for the employee base. But, we're now past it."

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