CVS Health Corp. is hiring a senior executive from a startup that specializes in primary-care clinics, a sign that the drugstore chain is serious about providing more medical services directly to consumers as it moves toward acquiring health insurer Aetna Inc.
Marc-David Munk will become CVS’s chief medical officer for its MinuteClinics, and will oversee “expanded health care services across the CVS Health enterprise,” the pharmacy and drug-benefits manager said in a statement Friday. Munk was previously chief medical officer at Iora Health, a startup that operates about two dozen physician practices.
In a 2015 blog post, Munk wrote about what he called “primary care 2.0” that should be “consumer-focused, well-managed and with a move toward higher-acuity, in-clinic diagnostics and treatment. Delivered by people you know, in a system you know.”
That kind of service could be crucial for the success of CVS’s $68 billion merger with Aetna, which the companies have touted as a way to control medical costs. CVS’s MinuteClinics are typically staffed by nurse practitioners and treat a narrow range of ailments like coughs and colds. Munk’s hiring is a signal that they could play a bigger role caring for seniors in the insurer’s private Medicare Advantage health plans.
Munk joined Iora in 2015. The startup has gained an early reputation for providing high-quality care to seniors, with the goal of keeping them out of the hospital and lowering costs. It already has partnerships Aetna and its competitor Humana Inc. Iora’s model focuses on using teams of doctors, nurses and health coaches to provide care for patients, with a goal of helping them stay healthy.
CVS declined to make Munk available for an interview before he started at the company, and Munk didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.