Walgreens-backed VillageMD picks up Starling Physicians to broaden primary care footprint in the Northeast

VillageMD, which is majority-owned by Walgreens, acquired Starling Physicians, a primary care and multi-specialty group in Connecticut.

Starling operates more than 30 locations throughout the state offering primary care and a range of specialties including cardiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology, nephrology and geriatric care.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

“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," Tim Barry, CEO and chair of VillageMD, said in a statement.

Fresh off its $8.9 billion deal for Summit Health-CityMD, this latest acquisition marks the third transaction so far in 2023 as VillageMD continues to expand its primary care footprint.

In January, the company said it acquired Dallas Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Specialists, which provides internal medicine, geriatric medicine and urgent care services. Later that month, VillageMD announced it bought Family and Internal Medicine Associates, the largest independent primary care practice in central Kentucky. 

Also in January, VillageMD said it completed its massive acquisition of medical practice Summit Health, the parent company of urgent care clinic chain CityMD. That deal, announced in November 2022, expands Walgreen's reach into primary, specialty and urgent care. The transaction creates one of the largest independent provider groups in the U.S., the organizations said.

In 2021, Walgreens invested $5.2 billion in VillageMD and said it planned to open at least 600 Village Medical at Walgreens primary-care practices across the country by 2025 and 1,000 by 2027.

With these latest acquisitions under its belt, VillageMD now operates more than 700 primary care provider locations as Walgreens ramps up its investment in expanding its medical center footprint.

“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. By integrating primary care with specialty care, we are able to optimize access to high-quality care for our patients,” Barry said in a statement.

“The value-based care delivery model, coupled with our broad multi-specialty healthcare platform, will result in improved clinical outcomes for our patients and healthier local communities while lowering the cost of care," said Christopher Russo, M.D., a Starling board member and chair of the board finance committee. "VillageMD has had notable and repeated success delivering cost-effective high-quality care in a variety of markets and was the natural partner for Starling to realize this transformational vision in Connecticut.”