MARCH 2023



2023 is shaping up to be a year unlike any other. Coming off a tumultuous 2022, a year that some journalists have dubbed “the worst operating income year ever”, health systems and consumers alike are changing their habits to access and deliver care in a way that is more convenient, on-demand, and outside the walls of traditional health settings.  

Enter the disruptors. Large retail corporations and tech companies have flirted with digital care platforms for years, but recent acquisitions and developments have solidified the intention to leverage innovation and convenience to lure customers away from traditional care models. Highlighted below are a roundup of articles that illustrate moves in the industry that might impact your strategic strategy.  

Mark Cuban and Amazon Are Shaking Up Generic Drugs


Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2023

“Lots of money is at stake. Scroll over to Cost Plus and you will find the cancer drug Imatinib priced at $14.40 for 30 pills. Meanwhile, the retail price for the same product could be hundreds, even thousands, of dollars at other pharmacies, according to GoodRx data. Antonio Ciaccia, chief executive of the drug-pricing research nonprofit 46brooklyn Research, says that, while such moves may not currently be taking huge market share away from traditional pharmacies, they are alerting consumers and employers to the fact that they can get generic drugs much more cheaply.” 

Chain Store Age, February 6, 2023

“Grocery giant Albertsons Companies Inc. is debuting Sincerely Health, a digital health and wellness platform… The platform enables users to link activity trackers such as Apple Health, as well as log their vitals and medication regimen…Sincerely Health also offers an online pharmacy solution that includes tools for managing prescriptions, scheduling vaccine appointments, and connecting users with general practitioners via telehealth services…  

Albertsons built Sincerely Health in collaboration with healthcare providers, insurance companies, and health-focused technology companies. As of Dec. 3, 2022, Albertsons Companies Inc. operated 2,270 retail food and drug stores with 1,720 pharmacies.” 

Becker’s Hospital Review, February 23, 2023

“The move gives the tech giant ownership of One Medical’s more than 125 primary care clinics and membership-based subscription model that comes with 24-7 video visits and in-app messaging at no extra charge. Nontraditional players are expected to own 30 percent of the primary care market by 2030, Bain & Co. estimated in July. The American Hospital Association encouraged hospitals and health systems to partner with these disruptors, which also include CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Optum.” 

Becker’s Healthcare Podcast, March 2, 2023 (Segment Begins at 14:02)

“When asked what health systems can expect from disruptors in 2023, Vaezy theorized ‘a relentless pursuit of continuing to penetrate the market. A lot of these disruptive forces have been really good at partnerships. They recognize the need to enter the market in more efficient ways than building everything themselves. In particular, I don’t think anyone is going to be getting into the hospital business anytime soon, as that’s a really hard thing to do. That means that these disruptors are going to be looking for hospital partners, which presents an opportunity for health systems. These disruptors also have a lot of capital, and they’re going to be looking for a return on their capital by tech-enabling businesses and driving a non-linear return on investment. Tech enablement allows for scale that traditional services are never going to be able to accomplish.’” 

Modern Healthcare, March 6, 2023

“At AnsibleHealth, we’re already using ChatGPT every day. We’ve incorporated it into our electronic health record so our providers are able to use ChatGPT to better communicate with patients, and we’re using it to talk to our insurance providers—to do things like rewrite an appeal letter if [payers have] denied a claim… There are so many administrative tasks, so many insurance tasks, so much billing—and a lot of this takes us away from actually being able to interact one-on-one and provide quality care. My greatest hope is that AI will allow me to spend more time with patients … and allow me to be a better physician. I want physicians to recognize that AI is here. This is a really exciting time for us to be in medicine.” 

NBC News, March 7, 2023

“WeightWatchers has taken a major step into the worlds of telehealth and medication-based obesity treatment, announcing its acquisition of the digital health company Sequence. Sequence, which describes itself as a ‘weight loss program,’ offers its monthly subscribers telehealth consultations with clinicians, fitness coaching, access to dietitians and, in some cases, prescriptions for drugs, including the popular diabetes and obesity medications Ozempic and Wegovy. In revealing the $132 million purchase Monday, the company’s leaders said they plan to tailor its ‘nutrition and behavior-change’ programs to work in concert with the dispensing of medication.”  

Fierce Healthcare, March 7, 2023

“Fresh off its $8.9 billion deal for Summit Health-CityMD, this latest acquisition marks the third transaction so far in 2023 as VillageMD continues to expand its primary care footprint.  In 2021, Walgreens invested $5.2 billion in VillageMD and said it planned to open at least 600 Village Medical at Walgreens primary-care practices across the country by 2025 and 1,000 by 2027. With these latest acquisitions under its belt, VillageMD now operates more than 700 primary care provider locations as Walgreens ramps up its investment in expanding its medical center footprint.” 

Modern Healthcare, March 7, 2023

“The company is partnering with several health systems, including Advocate Health, Geisinger Health and Mount Sinai Health System to expand its at-home care technology platform Current Health, which it acquired for $400 million in late 2021. With one of its latest agreements, Best Buy will offer technology support to Charlotte-based Atrium Health, part of the newly formed Advocate Health, for its hospital-at-home program that launched in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Best Buy’s Geek Squad employees will deliver equipment and offer setup help in patients’ homes. The tech needs previously were handled within Atrium.”  

Fierce Digital Health, March 23, 2023

“Nuance introduced its new application on Monday morning called Dragon Ambient eXperience Express. The company said this version of Dragon can summarize and e
nter conversations between clinicians and patients directly into electronic health record systems using OpenAI’s GPT-4 generative AI capabilities. GPT-4, which was released by OpenAI on March 14, is more advanced than its popular predecessor ChatGPT, said Peter Durlach, Nuance’s chief strategy officer. ‘We’re taking a very sober look at this thing,’ Durlach said. ‘It’s not as great as the fanboys would say and it’s not as scary as the naysayers. It’s in the middle.’

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