Express Scripts Buys EviCore Healthcare

Express Scripts (ESRX) said they’re buying EviCore Healthcare for $3.6 billion.

Buying EviCore will help Express Scripts broaden its reach beyond prescription drugs into being a gatekeeper for insurance companies for a wider range of medical services. Health plans hire EviCore, which manages medical benefits for 100 million people, to help reduce medically unnecessary imaging and other expensive tests.

The purchase will complement Express Scripts’ main business of managing prescription-drug benefits for health plans, employers and unions. The combination provides “significant opportunities for cross-selling to both client bases,” Express Scripts said in a statement.

Express Scripts said that the deal, which must be approved by regulators, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. EviCore will be run as a standalone business unit within Express Scripts, the company said.

Express Scripts is down about 1.8% today.