Hy-Vee’s New PBM Will Likely Need a Niche to Compete

Midwestern supermarket chain Hy-Vee, Inc. launched a new PBM subsidiary on Dec. 3, joining the already-crowded ranks of retail stores that have done the same, such as Costco Wholesale Corp., The Kroger Co. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. Industry consultants tell AIS Health that while Hy-Vee’s new PBM may struggle to compete with large and well-established players, there are ways it can still appeal to employers that are dissatisfied with the status quo in pharmacy benefits management.

“Starting a PBM today is risky, because the pharmacy benefits market is dominated by a few very large, sophisticated and insurance-integrated PBMs,” says Elan Rubinstein, Pharm.D., principal at EB Rubinstein Associates.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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