The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 19 released new draft guidance outlining its approach to antitrust enforcement after rescinding decades-old regulations the week before. The moves could further entrench and formalize the Biden administration’s aggressive anti-consolidation agenda. Health care insiders tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that the proposed guidance’s impact on health care insurers and providers is far from certain, but they say that the proposal could complicate any or all of data sharing, quality ratings, and value-based contracting — and stymie an active dealmaking environment.
The draft guidance, which is subject to a public comment period and may change, could have profound impacts on the broader economy, not just health care. The Biden administration’s antitrust regulators have evinced much more aggressive legal and economic theories of antitrust enforcement than any administration in decades. The new guidance is further evidence of the administration’s willingness to try and block deals such as acquisitions by health insurers of providers; provider mergers; and insurer deals for other non-insurance assets, such as business services and technology firms.