Aetna CEO: CVS deal will open '10,000 new front doors to the healthcare system'

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, said the insurer's $69 billion merger with CVS Health will succeed by keeping Americans healthier where they live, according to CBS This Morning.

"In today's environment, 60 percent of our life expectancy, which has gone down two years in a row, is associated with where we live. Thirty percent is our genetic code and 10 percent is the clinical care you receive. So now our zip code matters more than our genetic code and how long we live," Mr. Bertolini said on the program Feb. 26. "And unless we get into the community and we begin to provide services in the community that deal with issues like social isolation, food, water, accessibility, access — if we can do more of that in the community and near people's homes, then we're going to win because we're going to keep people healthy around the issue that prevents them from living the life they want to lead."

CVS Health comprises 10,000-plus clinics and pharmacies across the U.S., which Mr. Bertolini said will act as "10,000 new front doors to the healthcare system." These spaces could become local options for preventive care, filling prescriptions and treatment, which may sway Americans from entering the healthcare system only when they're in need of extensive care, he added.

In early December 2017, CVS Health signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Aetna for roughly $69 billion in cash and stock. The deal, unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each firm Dec. 3, is one of the largest transactions of 2017.

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