CVS says it plans to enter major care by the tip of the yr

A CVS Pharmacy store is located in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

CVS said on Wednesday that it plans to buy a stake or a stake in the primary care company by the end of the year as competition heats up Amazon and Walgreens.

CEO Karen Lynch said of the company second quarter earnings to call that the company wants to work with a supplier with a strong management team and technological background and the ability to grow quickly.

CVS, best known for its large number of pharmacies, has touch points throughout the healthcare industry. It acquired insurer Aetna and pharmacy benefits manager Caremark. Customers can get vaccines or emergency care at MinuteClinic units located in its stores. The company is also adding more health services to those locations, recently introducing mental health therapy in some stores.

However, CVS does not yet have doctor’s offices where patients can have annual checkups or meet with a doctor or nurse. At last year’s investor day, Lynch told CVS wants to change that by buying or partnering with a company.

At the time, Dr. Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Caremark, said he envisioned CVS breaking out in primary care. The company wants to offer longer hours at its doctors’ offices so people can visit as early as 6 a.m., 9 p.m. or on weekends. It also wants to use simple, streamlined technology so customers don’t have to fill out a bunch of paperwork.

Other healthcare players have already made moves in the space. Rival Walgreens Boots Alliance is partnering with VillageMD to open hundreds of doctor’s offices and became the main owner of the company. Walmart has a small but growing number of clinics where people can see a doctor, dentist or therapist at a low cost.

Amazon added to the pressure by announcing last month that it would acquire primary care provider One Medical. for approximately 3.9 billion The luxury healthcare company has 188 medical facilities in 25 markets, according to the data latest quarterly the results.

Lynch said CVS has a competitive advantage because of the size of its business. She said nearly 4.8 million customers interact with the company daily at CVS locations. In addition, MinuteClinic visits increased 12% in the second quarter, she said.

CVS can build “from the strong foundation we already have,” Lynch said.

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