CVS, Amazon, Optum: Health system CIOs on who will be the biggest disrupter of '23

As Amazon, CVS and Optum continue to utilize upstart companies that provide primary care, virtual care and in-home care to try to buy their way into the healthcare industry, health system CIOs told Becker's that they're betting on CVS and Optum to make the most disruption to the primary care arena in 2023. 

Optum, CVS and Amazon, often referred to as the "retail healthcare" disruptors, are finding opportunity in the nationwide shortage of primary care physicians and are increasing their investments in concierge-style primary care practices. 

For example, CVS has made it clear that in 2023, it will continue to seek out partnerships with or acquire a stake in primary care companies. 

The company followed through by entering into an agreement to acquire Signify Health, a home health company, for about $8 billion. 

The deal, which brings Signify's nationwide value-based provider network with more than 10,000 clinicians into CVS Health's portfolio, is expected to close in the first half of 2023.

As a result of this move, Darrell Bodnar, CIO of Whitefield, N.H.-based North Country Healthcare said he is betting on CVS to make the most disruption. 

"CVS-Aetna, Walgreens, Walmart, United-Optum and even Dollar General are looking at ways to capture this market and all the downstream revenue that will follow once these patient relationships develop. While I feel they will all make significant progress towards this in 2023, I think CVS may be the biggest disruptor this year as it searches for a primary care acquisition," said Mr. Bodnar. "They have great market share and following the Signify Health acquisition are in a good place."

But, CVS isn't the only healthcare disruptor competing in the primary care space. Optum also has been making significant strides by buying multispecialty physician practices, with a focus on managing patients through home, virtual and on-site care.

This is why Rich Rogers, senior vice president and CIO of Greenville, S.C. -based PrismaHealth sees Optum as primary care's biggest disruptor. 

"Optum is positioned to have the most significant impact in healthcare in 2023. In addition to their aggressive acquisition of primary care providers and services, Optum is positioned to be a disruptor with developing value-based care models," said Mr. Rogers. "They bring established healthcare analytics capabilities, virtual solutions, pharmacy tools, and payer experience to the market. In addition, Optum has the financial means to figure out the secret sauce to successfully deliver new payment models."

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