Navigation Links
Physicians Charge Health Insurer Merger Not In The Public Interest
Date:5/15/2008

Department of Justice's enforcement action in Sierra acquisition was inadequate and should be rejected

WASHINGTON, May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Medical Association, Nevada State Medical Association and Clark County Medical Society today announced they have filed joint comments seeking to reject the final judgment proposed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the acquisition of Sierra Health Services by United Health Group.

The three physician organizations filed comments to the DOJ and the federal court in the District of Columbia under the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act (Tunney Act) because the DOJ's actions are seriously inadequate to protect high-quality medical care from the anti-competitive nature of this merger.

"The acquisition of Sierra by UnitedHealth creates an unprecedented level of market concentration in Southern Nevada," said AMA Immediate Past President William G. Plested, M.D. "The merger permanently transforms the health insurance market in Las Vegas, allowing UnitedHealth to acquire a 90 percent share of the health maintenance organization (HMO) market."

"After an 11-month investigation, the DOJ's modest response to the merger left several hundred thousand people in Nevada's fragile health care system vulnerable to a health insurer with a near-monopoly in the HMO insurance market," said Richard P. Seher, M.D., president of the Nevada State Medical Association. "Contrary to claims of greater efficiencies and lower costs, consolidation in the health insurance industry, in fact, has been shown to raise premiums and decreased patient access to care."

Physicians charge that the DOJ's limited enforcement action in the merger fails to protect Nevada from:

-- inadequate levels of service and quality;

-- higher patient insurance premiums; and

-- one-sided, coercive contractual provisions.

The physician organizations urged the court to critically scrutinize the DOJ's decision not to bring an enforcement action challenging the anti-competitive effects of the merger in Nevada's commercial health insurance market.

"The decision to approve the Sierra acquisition, despite the anti-competitive concerns in the Las Vegas market, was a step backward for the DOJ's enforcement actions," said Dr. Plested. "If the DOJ has changed its enforcement policy on health insurance mergers, it should disclose the reasons for those changes so that the court can determine whether the proposed final judgment is in the public's interest."

Citing the negative effects of consolidated market power, the DOJ in 2005 required significant divestiture in another UnitedHealth mega-merger involving PacifiCare. This meaningful action to protect high-quality medical care from dominant market power acquired by UnitedHealth stands in stark contrast to the DOJ's current actions in the Sierra buyout where the threat of an anti-competitive monopoly is much higher.

"The Department of Justice dropped the ball in protecting Nevada's health care system and that mistake should be reversed," said Dr. Seher. "In the interim, we are looking forward to working with the Nevada State Attorney General to implement the broader protections she has ordered as conditions of the merger."

Also filing Tunney Act comments today were the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, Service Employees International Union Nevada and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Medical Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. The Quantum Group Announces Web-Based Portal for Physicians
2. Ohio congresswoman cited by American College of Physicians
3. Senior Citizens, Unions, Physicians and Nurses Groups Lend Support to Hospitals State House Rally
4. ACP says Medicare cuts will hurt physicians in small practices
5. OBGManagement.com and Convera(R) Launch Search Site for Physicians in the ObGyn Specialty
6. The Heart Center Selects Allscripts Electronic Health Record and Practice Management for 50 Physicians
7. More Than 1,000 Childrens Memorial Hospital Patients, Physicians, Elected Officials, Donors and Staff Gather to Break Ground on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Childrens Hospital of Chicago
8. Physicians Anticipate Changes in Their Usage of Hip Implants
9. Physician Hospitals of America Denounces Farm Bill Plan to Sell Out Seniors and Physicians to Pay for Agribusiness Subsidies
10. Physicians: McCains Health Care Plan More Realistic Than Obamas and Clintons
11. Patient charter ensures that reports on physicians are meaningful, reliable and fair
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Attorney Robert “RC” Pate , founder of The Law ... Triumph Over Kid Cancer foundation. Each year, 175,000 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancers. ... the effect of the critical funding gap for research into pediatric cancer research. From ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The CHP suggests that California drivers can avoid hydroplaning as ... and increasing the space between themselves and other vehicles, according to a January 3 ... R. Hassanlou notes that, rain or shine, drivers should always incorporate safe driving practices ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... The 21st Century Cures Act’s Impact ... Webinar**, Jan. 26, 2016 — 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET, http://www.fdanews.com/21stcenturycures          ... Act in order to thrive this year? , The passage of the act means ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Infinity® Massage Chairs announced today ... implement new sales and marketing strategies. Grover comes with a total of 15 years ... a half years as Executive Vice President of Direct Sales at Traeger® Wood Pellet ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... Fillers are known for ... people know that popular cosmetic fillers can enhance earlobes and rejuvenate ... director of the MilfordMD Cosmetic Dermatology Surgery & Laser Center, in Milford, Penn. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... Jan. 18, 2017  Kratom leaves, from a ... are often used to prepare tea-like beverages and ... million Americans annually to increase alertness, enhance well-being ... for minor aches and pains. PinneyAssociates, review of ... to assist FDA and DEA in determining the ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017  Dermata Therapeutics, LLC, ... to treat a variety of dermatological diseases, announces ... DMT210, in a Phase 2 acne rosacea study. ... downregulate the proinflammatory cytokines in the skin responsible ... rosacea. This clinical trial, DMT210-003, ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Suiza, 18 de enero de 2017  Hoy, ... lanzaron Access Accelerated, una iniciativa global para avanzar el ... y atención en países de renta baja y baja-media ... alcanzado un punto de crisis, particularmente en países de ... 80 por ciento de las muertes relacionadas con NCD. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: