I Sold Aetna To Fix A Broken Healthcare System. Here’s Why.

In 2014, after CVS CEO Larry Merlo announced the decision to stop selling cigarettes at its 7,700 retail pharmacies, Mark Bertolini, then CEO of healthcare giant Aetna, called to congratulate him. They agreed to meet to discuss business strategies and the future of the healthcare industry. In the conversation that ensued, Merlo referenced the estimated $2 billion revenue hit the decision would cost. “You make money on a fee-for-service basis,” Bertolini recounts responding. “I make money by keeping people healthy. You need a different revenue model, and if you continue doing the things that you’re doing, our revenue model is the right one.”