CVS Health plans to make a move toward merging with or acquiring a primary care firm in the coming months in pursuit of expanding its services, CEO Karen Lynch said Wednesday.
Lynch was asked about the company's strategy for entering the primary care space during the company's earnings call, where she said CVS "can't be in the primary care without M&A," and that "we are very encouraged and confident that we'll take the next step on this journey by the end of this year."
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CVS is one of the largest drugstore chains in the U.S. with nearly 10,000 locations, and has 1,100 MinuteClinic locations providing customers with services for minor injuries and illnesses. Lynch said MinuteClinics saw a 12% increase in patient visits last quarter.
The company also offers prescription drug plans for major companies through its Caremark arm, and provides health insurance to more than 24 million people after acquiring Aetna.
In addition to expanding into offering primary care, Lynch said CVS is also pursuing expanding health services in provider enablement and home health categories.
CVS competitors Walgreens, Amazon and Walmart have already entered the primary care space.
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Walgreens announced in 2020 that it would introduce in-store doctors' offices through a partnership with VillageMD, and Amazon inked a deal last month to acquire One Medical in order to begin offering primary care services.
Walmart has already opened dozens of standalone Walmart Health centers in several states.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.