Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina plans to acquire all 55 North Carolina locations of FastMed, an urgent care provider in which it had a minority investment, according to an Oct. 20 press release. Experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that the deal is a smart move, as long as Blue Cross NC has a sound strategic approach to operating the clinics.
Insurers have acquired plenty of providers in recent years, but larger, publicly traded insurance companies have led that charge. The deal stands out for two clear reasons: First, Blue Cross NC is a regional carrier — albeit a large one, with 2.3 million covered lives, according to AIS’s Directory of Health Plans. Second, most payer acquisitions of providers have not targeted urgent care operations.