Executives said the business has been hampered by a $2.2 billion write-down against its long-term care business line. Last quarter’s loss is in stark contrast to the $3.2 billion profit during the same period in 2017.
CVS said the struggling skilled nursing industry’s problems with low occupancy and inadequate reimbursement continue to hurt the drugstore chain’s business.
Asked by analysts whether he sees Omnicare as core to his company, CEO Larry Merlo said he still sees potential in senior living.
“The growth opportunity with Omnicare was always focused on the independent and assisted living spaces, and those opportunities still exist and they’re consistent with our strategy of putting the customer at the nucleus of transforming care,” Merlo told investors. “The challenges that we have in that business are really around skilled nursing facilities, which have been worse than we originally expected.”
CVS missed its projections in long-term care primarily due to operational and liquidity issues experienced by its customers, including one large operator that filed for bankruptcy in the fourth quarter. The company first entered the long-term care pharmacy business in 2015 through its $12.9 billion purchase of Omnicare.