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:6/24/2016)... ... , ... A recent article published June 14 on E Online ... on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo not only ... calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills Physicians (BHP) ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global ... Trend magazine’s 2016 Legal Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition ... Florida. , Seven Greenberg Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented ... in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the ... Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture ... Golf Classic Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at ... Luke’s Wings, an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Southern Illinois ... are co-chairs for the Illinois State Dental Society (ISDS) Foundation’s Mission of Mercy ... Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville. , They expect to treat approximately ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Guerbet announced today that it has ... Horizon Award . One of 12 suppliers ... for its support of Premier members through exceptional local ... and commitment to lower costs. ... of our outstanding customer service from Premier," says ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The Biotechnology industry might still be ... opportunities to investors. Stock-Callers.com assesses the recent performances of ... XON ), Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ), and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN ... complimentary trade alerts at: http://stock-callers.com/registration ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... New Global Agenda " report to their offering. ... Europe - the 2016 edition is a ... identifies the driving factors coming into play which will influence ... and in the future. It provides a wealth of knowledge ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: