Here we go again! In my last blog I mentioned how companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Uber, etc. will be driving innovations in healthcare delivery and costs over the next 10 years. Today, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that retail giant Walmart is in preliminary talks with health insurer Humana about developing a closer partnership, with one possibility being that Walmart might acquire Humana.
If you are a Humana customer right now, they strongly suggest that you use Walmart for your prescription coverage. If this deal comes to fruition it will have a significant effect on the healthcare industry and it could be good for consumers/patients, since Walmart seems committed to its “always the lowest price strategy.
Here are five interesting facts that the WSJ reported:
1. The two companies are discussing a variety of options, and it is not certain they will strike a deal. If they do reach an agreement, it would be Walmart's largest deal ever. Humana's current market value is about $37 billion.
2. If the potential deal, which would require regulatory and shareholder approval, closes, Walmart would be one of the largest health insurers in the country.
3. The talks between Walmart and Humana come amid a flurry of deals that could transform the business of managing healthcare, including CVS Health's proposed acquisition of Aetna for $69 billion and Cigna's proposed acquisition of Express Scripts for $54 billion.
4. Humana shares jumped 10 percent in after-hours trading March 29 after WSJ reported the preliminary talks. Shares of Walmart dropped 1 percent.
5. Walmart, which is a major drugstore operator in addition to being the world's largest retailer and has a current market value of $260 billion.
America’s largest companies continue “to think outside the box,” and they have their eye on the healthcare industry.