Justice Department Approves CVS and Aetna Merger

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) has secured anti-trust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna (NYSE: AET), the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The deal was approved on the condition that the company divest Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans, Inc, a health insurer focused on government-sponsored health plans, according to the Justice Department.

Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS is the largest retail pharmacy chain in the U.S. The company also owns pharmacy benefit manager Caremark. CVS earned revenues of approximately $185 billion in 2017.

Hartford-based Aetna is the third-largest health insurance company in the U.S., earning revenues of about $60 billion last year.

The deal between the two companies was first announced in December 2017. The merger is one of the biggest deals in heath care. The Justice department approved Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts in September.

The combined company aims to create a platform for consumers and insurance beneficiaries to receive more health care services at CVS locations, which will serve as a “community-based health hub,” Home Health Care News previously reported.

Despite gaining anti-trust approval, stock prices were down slightly for both CVS and Aetna nearing market close Wednesday.

Amedisys Closes on Massachusetts Personal Care Acquisition

Amedisys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) has announced that its subsidiary, Associated Home Care, has closed the acquisition of Bring Care Home. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Amedisys is one of the largest home health providers in the U.S. The company has more than 17,900 employees who work across 420 care centers in 34 states and Washington, D.C.

Bring Care Home is a home care provider that offers personal care, companionship and skilled nursing services to its clients across the Greater Boston areas.

“Amedisys is committed to investing in our personal care business and solidifying our position as a home care leader in Massachusetts,” Amedisys CEO and president Paul Kusserow said in a press release.

Associated Home Care acquired all assets of Bring Care Home, according to the company.

Immanuel Communities Announces Collaboration with Visiting Nurse Association

The Immanual home health care agency has picked Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) to collaborate on the current services offered to its Omaha communities.

Omaha, Nebraska-based VNA offers a range of in-home and community-based services to individuals of all ages. The company has a team of 400 health care professionals and caregivers providing care to residents in Omaha and Council Bluffs.

Omaha-based Immanual home health care agency is not-for-profit that serves about 1,000 residents across the Omaha metro area.

VNA will provide its full scope home health services to Immanuel residents including telehealth, non-clinical home care and hospice.

Audacious Inquiry Partners with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization to Increase Access, Advocacy and Quality of Care

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and Audacious Inquiry have announced a partnership to improve care quality across the hospice and palliative care communities.

The partnership will work to increase connectivity and expand access to care by utilizing such tools as Audacious Inquiry’s Encounter Notification Service to alert palliative care teams of patient hospitalizations, as well as informing hospital staff of existing palliative care efforts to ensure seamless care and treatment, according to the companies.

Alexandria, Virginia-based NHPCO is a nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the U.S.

Baltimore-based Audacious Inquiry is a health information technology company that provides solutions for connected health care.

“By virtue of our partnership with [Audacious Inquiry], NHPCO members will have access to tools that will help connect them to the rest of the healthcare spectrum,” Edo Banach, NHPCO president and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “This increased connectivity supports population health management initiatives by improving communication and care coordination, ensuring high-quality care for patients with serious illness.”

NHPCO and Audacious Inquiry will also use joint resources to advance advocacy efforts in the space.

Written by Kaitlyn Mattson