- VillageMD, the clinical network majority owned by Walgreens, has acquired a medical group in Connecticut that operates more than 30 locations across the state.
- On Friday, VillageMD said it snapped up Starling Physicians, which operates primary care and multi-specialty practices, for an undisclosed sum.
- The acquisition expands VillageMD to more than 700 medical centers, as Walgreens continues to invest in expanding its clinical footprint.
Like other retail health companies, Walgreens is continuing to make inroads into primary care as demand for cheap and convenient healthcare swells in the U.S.
Along with primary care, Starling offers a range of specialties, including cardiology, ophthalmology and geriatric care, according to a release on the deal. The transaction closed Wednesday.
“This is a natural extension of our growth in the Northeast, including our recent acquisition of Summit Health-CityMD,” VillageMD CEO Tim Barry said in a statement.
VillageMD late last year agreed to acquire medical practice Summit Health for almost $9 billion. Cigna’s health services division Evernorth also took a stake in the deal, and will become a minority owner of VillageMD when it closes.
Summit is the parent company of urgent care chain CityMD, and includes more than 1,400 providers offering primary, specialty and urgent care.
Like rivals CVS and Walmart, Walgreens has been active in the primary care space. It expects its U.S. healthcare division — comprised of VillageMD, specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions and at-home care provider CareCentrix, among other ventures — to reach profitability this year.
Walgreens first invested in VillageMD in 2020 before doubling its ownership stake a little more than a year ago with an additional investment of $5.2 billion in the primary care services provider, increasing its stake from 30% to 63%.
Walgreens plans to build 1,000 primary care clinics inside its pharmacies by 2027 in partnership with VillageMD.