CVS to buy Aetna: What it means to you

Published: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 8:20 AM

CVS Announces Plan To Purchase Aetna Insurance

CVS confirmed that it’s buying Aetna for $69 billion in a deal that will help the drugstore chain reach deeper into customer health care and protect a key client.

CVS Health Corp. released a statement Sunday saying it will pay cash and stock for Aetna Inc.

Here’s what it could mean for the average consumer:

1. LOCATIONS: The mammoth acquisition pairs a company that runs more than 9,700 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in clinics with the third-largest insurer that covers about 22 million people. There are more than 50 CVS locations in this region.

2. CLINICS: The evolution won’t happen overnight, but in time, shoppers may find more clinics in CVS stores and more services they can receive through the network of nearly 10,000 locations that the company has built.

“They’ll be pretty much a soup-to-nuts health company … except for the hospital part of it,” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting and research firm, told the Associated Press.

3. MANAGING CARE: Patients also may find the CVS-Aetna combination much more involved in managing their care, especially for those with expensive chronic conditions like diabetes. The bulked-up company also may gain more negotiating leverage over prescription drug prices, but it’s far too early to say how much or whether that benefit will trickle down to customers.

The $69 billion deal announced Sunday evening will push the drugstore chain more forcefully in a direction it has been heading for years, according to Wall Street analysts. The company, which stopped selling tobacco products in 2014 to further burnish its image as a care provider, already runs about 1,100 clinics and has been steadily expanding the health care it offers.

The clinics started off as a place to treat basic health care needs like sinus infections or strep throat. Gradually, CVS added services like blood draws or monitoring of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Expect that trend to continue as the drugstore switches more from selling products in its stores to services that can’t be bought online, where retailers face formidable competition from the likes of Amazon.

4. PHARMACY BENEFITS: CVS Health Corp. is also one of the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefit managers, processing more than a billion prescriptions a year for clients like large employers and insurers including Aetna Inc.

Analysts say the combined company could add more clinics and expand in-store services to include eye care or maybe centers for hearing aids. That could gradually turn CVS into a one-stop-shop for health care, a place where patients can get a hearing aid checked, then see a nurse practitioner and pick up prescriptions.

Clinics aren’t especially profitable, but they are important because they draw people into the stores and help build deeper customer relationships, analysts say.

The clinics have become an attractive option for customers in need of basic health care because they are usually open longer than the family doctor’s office. A clinic visit also can be cheaper than a $100 doctor visit for someone who doesn’t have insurance, but they have drawbacks. Family doctors say they know their patients better and can check on their overall health during a visit rather than dealing with just the one issue that brought that person in.

5. COMPETITION: CVS isn’t the only health care giant delving into clinical care. The deal will help it compete with others like UnitedHealth Group Inc. The nation’s largest health insurer also runs clinics and doctor’s offices. Like CVS, it also has one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management businesses.

6. BEYOND CLINICS: CVS and Aetna also want to go beyond just clinic visits to help patients and customers.

Aetna Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini has talked frequently about how most of a person’s life expectancy is determined by genetics and location and not by clinical care, which is where health care spending is focused.

“Our conventional operating model is not effective,” Bertolini said earlier this year. “People are angry at this model. It doesn’t work effectively in controlling costs.”

He has talked about the need to get into patients’ homes to gauge what they need, like whether they have enough food or may need transportation.

CVS can help through its home infusion business, which sends nurses to patients’ homes to deliver complex drugs for people with hemophilia among other conditions. The clinic and drugstore locations could also give patients with chronic conditions like diabetes more convenient options to get their blood monitored or counseling on their condition.

Over time, health care experts say that can help keep these conditions from growing worse and stave off expensive hospital stays.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Regional airport adds new Starbucks, other new dining options

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 7:57 AM

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John Glenn Columbus International Airport is adding another Starbucks location and several other new dining options for travelers.

The airport added its fifth Starbucks location near baggage claim, operated by global restaurateur HMSHost. Other new dining options will open in Concourse C in the second quarter of 2018, the airport announced. Donatos, with a full-service menu and bar, will replace Johnny Rockets. PGA Tour Grill, with a full-service menu and bar, will replace Buckeye Hall of Fame Cafe.

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While the restaurants are under construction, a food and beverage kiosk will be available for customers along with American Craft Tavern, a Samuel-Adams themed bar and restaurant that opened in July. More than 7.5 million passengers traveled through the airport last year.

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Whirlpool celebrates new Trump tariffs, adding 200 jobs in Ohio

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 8:41 AM

Whirlpool KitchenAid mixers in all colors wait for assembly at the factory in Greenville in this 2012 photo. FILE
Whirlpool KitchenAid mixers in all colors wait for assembly at the factory in Greenville in this 2012 photo. FILE

At least one local manufacturer is celebrating the Trump administration’s move to slam down new tariffs on imported goods.

Whirlpool Corp. said it is adding 200 jobs after the administration imposed a tariff of up to 50 percent on large residential washing machines, a penalty aimed squarely at rival manufacturers Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc.

The new full-time employees will work at a factory in Clyde, Ohio, Whirlpool said Monday. The company also said the administration’s action will also result in new jobs in Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.

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Whirlpool has about 10,000 workers at five manufacturing plants, including about 1,000 at its Greenville facilities in Darke County.

Last year, Whirlpool cut the ribbon on a $17 million doubling in size of its Ohio Factory Distribution Center in Greenville, a site that supports shipments of KitchenAid small appliances.

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“This is a victory for American workers and consumers alike,” Jeff Fettig, Whirlpool chief executive, said in a statement Monday. “By enforcing our existing trade laws, President Trump has ensured American workers will compete on a level playing field with their foreign counterparts, enabled new manufacturing jobs here in America and will usher in a new era of innovation for consumers everywhere.”

The administration also announced tariffs on imported solar cells and modules.

Jim Bustillo, owner of Miamisburg’s Star City Solar, which sells and installs solar cells and components, said the tariffs will likely make some of the products he sells more expensive. But’s he’s OK with that.

“We need to protect American jobs,” Bustillo said Tuesday.

The products he sells are a mix of American-made and imported products. But he said he assures customers that solar equipment pays for itself in time.

“Solar panels are not an expense,” Bustillo said. “They’re an investment.”

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“The president’s action makes clear again that the Trump administration will always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses in this regard,” Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, said in a statement.

Low-cost WOW air offering $99 flight deals from Cincinnati to Europe

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 10:30 AM


            CONTRIBUTED
CONTRIBUTED

Low-cost Icelandic airline WOW air is offering special flight deals from $99 to $149 for several international flights.

WOW air begins service from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in early May, and the airline is celebrating by offering special deals on one-way flights. The airline is offering $99 one-way flight sales from CVG to Iceland, and one-way flights for $149 to Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, London and Berlin.

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Service from Cincinnati will be available four days per week. The offer is available for travel from September to October. WOW air will also start flights this spring in Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Dallas.

“We’re excited to welcome WOW air to CVG to provide local travelers another international travel option,” said Candace McGraw, chief executive officer of CVG. “WOW air is one of the fastest growing, low-cost transatlantic carriers.”

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Bookings are available at www.wowair.us.

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Local job fair to recruit disability support staff

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 12:07 PM

Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley is at 660 S. Main St. in Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley is at 660 S. Main St. in Dayton. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

An upcoming Dayton job fair is seeking employees to support local adults with developmental disabilities.

Montgomery County Board of Developmental Disabilities Services will sponsor a hiring event 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 31 at Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley at 660 S. Main St.

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Some of the positions include direct service and support positions and leadership positions in both home-based settings and adult day programs. Full- and part-time positions across a variety of shifts are available, and attendees may apply for openings during the event.

No prior experience working with people with developmental disabilities is required, but applicants must pass a background check. Employers will provide paid training for all new hires.

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For additional information about this event, contact Mitchell Snyder at msnyder@mcbdds.org or 937-837-9205.