by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | April 26, 2021
Evernorth, the health services portfolio for Cigna Corporation, has acquired 24/7 virtual care delivery platform MDLIVE.
The deal is expected to lower the cost of care for Evernorth, as well as increase access to healthcare providers through virtual visits from home or anywhere.
"We believe that virtual care can be used effectively to treat much more than strep throat or an ear infection. We see a future where diabetic patients and others with chronic and complex care needs can access comprehensive care online, and where their providers are part of a connected network of care," Eric Herbek, VP of virtual care at Evernorth, told HCB News.
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More than 75% of Americans expect virtual care from home to have a bigger presence in the future. Evernorth sees the addition of MDLIVE’s services not as a replacement but a complement to the way in which patients interact with providers. In addition to improving patient experience, it expects MDLIVE to help close the patient-provider accessibility gap and allow providers to augment their current services.
For MDLIVE, the deal allows it to continue building and enabling optimal care access capabilities, with a particular emphasis on virtual care.
MDLIVE will be part of Evernorth’s array of health services, which already include Express Scripts, Accredo and eviCore companies. It will continue to service its clients and expand its existing virtual care offerings while also creating new solutions with Evernorth that support more connected patient care experiences among health plans, employers, government organizations and people that rely on them. In addition to Evernorth's clients, the deal expands the reach of MDLIVE's capabilities to Cigna U.S. Medical customers and clients.
"We continue to see our organic growth strategy being complemented by acquisitions and partnerships that is strategically aligned and financially attractive. We see the trend in virtual care continuing and accelerating further, beyond urgent care to primary, chronic and behavioral care, and we will partner and innovate to meet this growing demand," said Herbek.
No financial details were disclosed.