UnitedHealth’s Latest Transaction Raises Antitrust Concerns

UnitedHealth Group’s deal to acquire Change Healthcare Inc. will receive extra scrutiny from the Dept. of Justice, according to a recent filing. Regulators’ decision regarding the deal could have significant implications in the broad digital transformation of the health insurance industry mandated by interoperability and price transparency rules, experts tell AIS Health.

UnitedHealth announced an agreement with Change in January to fold the health data company into the diversified health insurer’s in-house data analytics shop, Optum. DOJ antitrust regulators gave notice to both firms on March 24 that they would have to provide additional information and documentary materials in order to have the deal approved, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The expanded investigation follows a formal complaint letter from the American Hospital Association (AHA), which requested the DOJ take a deeper look at the deal.

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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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