New Antitrust Regs Could Slow Health Care Deals, Limit Data Sharing

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 of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 19 released new draft guidance outlining its approach to antitrust enforcement after rescinding decades-old regulations the week before.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The draft guidance, which is subject to a public comment period and may change, could have profound impacts on the broader economy, not just health care.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.

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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