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March 6, 2023

Walgreens-backed physician group buys Starling Physicians

COSTAR Starling Physicians’ New Britain campus on Kensington Avenue in New Britain.

One of central Connecticut’s largest physician groups has been acquired by a company backed by pharmacy giant Walgreens.

VillageMD announced it has acquired Rocky Hill-based Starling Physicians, which offers primary, specialty and urgent care services across 30 Greater Hartford locations. Its service areas include cardiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology, nephrology and geriatric care.

Terms of the deal, which closed March 1, weren’t disclosed.  

VillageMD employs 20,000 people nationwide at 680 practice locations in 26 markets. 

"Starling shares our vision of being a physician-led model and they provide care in a compassionate and exceptional way to all the patients they serve,” said Tim Barry, CEO and chair of VillageMD. “By integrating primary care with specialty care, we are able to optimize access to high-quality care for our patients. This is a natural extension of our growth in the Northeast, including our recent acquisition of Summit Health-CityMD. Together, we are transforming the way healthcare is delivered in the United States."

The deal represents VillageMD’s first Connecticut presence as well as the growing influence of its parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Last year, Walgreens completed its acquisition of Hartford-based CareCentrix, a healthcare technology company focused on post-acute and home care. 

The acquisition also reflects the rapid consolidation of the healthcare industry and the growing influence of giant retailers and health insurers buying up physician groups. 

Last month, CVS Health, parent company of Hartford health insurer Aetna, announced it was going to buy national primary care physician group Oak Street Health for $10.6 billion.


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