Antitrust Experts Expect DOJ to Challenge UHG/Change Deal

Author: APCI Staff/Friday, November 5, 2021/Categories: APCI News

Some antitrust experts expect the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to challenge United Health Group's acquisition of Change Healthcare, given rising pressure on regulators to check rampant consolidation in the healthcare industry, and intense opposition to the deal among hospital and pharmacy groups.

According to an article published by Healthcare Dive on Nov. 4, the two companies have agreed to an amendment to a timing agreement with the DOJ to not consummate their transaction before Feb. 22, 2022. That sets a new deadline for the agency to complete their in-depth investigation, first launched in late March.

The proposed deal being pushed back yet again is significant, and may lead to a significant antitrust victory. APCI wrote a letter to the DOJ on Sept. 29, not only opposing the proposed acquisition but also calling for greater scrutiny of UHG and its pharmacy benefit manager subsidiary Optum. The letter specifically mentioned the treatment and use of healthcare data and any actions taken to steer business into their market channels either directly or through affiliates. You can read APCI's press release about the letter here. The actual letter to DOJ is available here.

APCI will keep members updated with developments in the UHG/Change deal as they occur.