The Power of Partnerships: How Oak Street Health and AffirmedRx are Transforming Healthcare

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Jul 23, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Partnerships: How Oak Street Health and AffirmedRx are Transforming Healthcare


In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, strategic partnerships have become a key driver of growth and innovation. Two companies that have recently made headlines for their groundbreaking collaborations are Oak Street Health and AffirmedRx. Oak Street Health, a Chicago-based primary care provider, joined forces with CVS Health in a $10.6 billion deal, while AffirmedRx, a leading pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company, has been disrupting the industry with its unique approach. In this article, we will explore how these partnerships are reshaping the healthcare industry and revolutionizing patient care.

The Power of Integration:

Oak Street Health's partnership with CVS Health brings together two industry giants, combining Oak Street's expertise in primary care with CVS Health's vast resources. CEO Mike Pykosz emphasizes the significance of this collaboration, stating that CVS Health's extensive retail footprint, pharmacies, and Aetna health plan business provide Oak Street with unparalleled opportunities to expand its reach and enhance patient care. By leveraging CVS Health's infrastructure, Oak Street can now see more patients, open up additional channels for care, and improve coordination in patient care. This integration not only benefits Oak Street Health but also empowers CVS Health to offer comprehensive healthcare solutions to its customers.

Addressing the Gap in Chronic Illness Care:

Another exciting aspect of the CVS Health-Oak Street Health partnership is the acquisition of Signify, the largest home-based health risk assessment company. According to Pykosz, Signify reveals that a significant portion of individuals requiring health risk assessments have chronic illnesses and need access to a doctor. This presents a golden opportunity for Oak Street Health to become the leading provider of care for these patients. By combining their resources and expertise, Oak Street Health and CVS Health can bridge the gap in chronic illness care and ensure that patients receive the necessary medical attention they require. This integration not only benefits the patients but also strengthens the overall healthcare ecosystem.

The AffirmedRx Advantage:

In the realm of PBMs, AffirmedRx stands out as a game-changer. As a Public Benefit Corporation, AffirmedRx is committed to aligning with its clients' goals and ensuring market competitiveness. Their approach focuses on simplifying contracts, providing flexible and powerful technology, offering complete audit rights, and ensuring data ownership and transparent pricing. Additionally, AffirmedRx's white-glove service and ability to showcase potential client savings through shared data make them a valuable partner in navigating the complex world of PBMs. By removing the GPO layer and redefining rebate contracting, AffirmedRx paves the way for creative partnerships and fosters a future of Pharma and PBM relationships driven by insights and data.

Common Ground:

Although Oak Street Health and AffirmedRx operate in different areas of the healthcare industry, their partnerships share a common goal: to provide high-quality, accessible care to underserved communities. Oak Street Health's commitment to hiring from the communities they serve not only promotes cultural competence in medicine but also drives better care outcomes. AffirmedRx's focus on transparency, cost savings, and creative partnerships aligns with their mission to empower clients and redefine the future of PBM contracting. Both partnerships exemplify the power of collaboration, demonstrating that by combining forces, healthcare organizations can make a lasting impact on patient care and the industry as a whole.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace strategic partnerships: To thrive in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, organizations should actively seek out partnerships that complement their strengths and expand their reach. Collaborations can provide access to new resources, technologies, and expertise, ultimately enhancing patient care and driving growth.
  • 2. Prioritize community engagement: Like Oak Street Health, healthcare organizations should prioritize hiring from the communities they serve. This not only fosters cultural competence but also creates a deeper connection with patients, leading to improved care outcomes and patient satisfaction.
  • 3. Evaluate PBM partnerships: When selecting a PBM partner, prioritize transparency, data ownership, and flexible contract terms. Consider partnering with PBMs like AffirmedRx that offer complete audit rights, transparent pricing, and the ability to showcase potential cost savings through shared data.


The partnerships between Oak Street Health and CVS Health, as well as AffirmedRx's innovative approach to PBM solutions, exemplify the transformative power of collaboration in healthcare. By leveraging each other's strengths, these partnerships are reshaping the industry and bringing about positive change in patient care. As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, organizations must embrace strategic partnerships, prioritize community engagement, and carefully evaluate PBM partnerships to stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional care to their patients.

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