Federal judge approves takeover of UnitedHealth Group’s healthcare changeover

In a high-profile antitrust case, a federal judge on Monday, September 19, approved the planned acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc, by UnitedHealth Group Inc. , which was stopped by the intervention of the Ministry of Justice.

as such BloombergLeah Nailen wrote on Monday afternoonUnitedHealth Group Inc. secured court approval for its $7.8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc., overcoming a Department of Justice lawsuit that sought to block the deal. A federal judge’s decision in Washington on Monday is a win for UnitedHealth Group, which has sought to diversify its business Beyond insurance, the company plans to combine Change — which operates a network used by doctors, hospitals, dentists, and pharmacies to share health insurance claims for compensation — with Optum Insight data and advisory business. ClaimsXten for TPG Capital, as suggested. Shares of the change rose more than 7 percent in early trading Tuesday. Shares of UnitedHealth changed little.”

A UnitedHealth spokesperson said the company is looking to “merging with Change Healthcare as quickly as possible” in an email to Bloomberg.

as such A working group report to Reuters on Monday noted that “the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in February with the aim of halting the $8 billion acquisition, saying the deal would give the largest US health insurer access to its competitors’ data and ultimately drive up health care costs,” the department’s chief antitrust official said. Jonathan Kanter said they are “closely reviewing the opinion to assess next steps.” UnitedHealth announced the all-cash deal in January 2021, saying it would help streamline administrative and payment processes. Judge Carl Nichols said in a brief order Monday that he would reject the government’s request to halt the deal. and ordered the companies to proceed with the sale of their proposed assets. The order comes after a trial in the case in August in the US District Court for the District of Columbia UnitedHealth said it was “delighted with the decision” and looked forward to merging with Change as soon as possible. The Justice Department said UnitedHealth said and Change Healthcare offer a competing health care claims processing program and together serve 38 of the country’s top 40 health insurers.The department argued that access to claims would give Unit edHealth looks at the health plans of competitors, including Humana Inc (HUM.N), Anthem Inc, and others.”

The Reuters report continued: “The Department of Justice’s loss follows a recent ruling by an FTC judge that genetic analysis equipment maker Illumina should be allowed to buy cancer-screening test manufacturer Grail — a move the agency opposed.” “Jonathan Kanter, the department’s chief antitrust official, said they are reviewing the opinion closely to assess next steps.”

Monday evening, The The Wall Street JournalAnna Wilde Matthews and Brent Kendall mentioned That “U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols has ruled the companies in an opinion I keep sealed for now because he said they “may contain competitively sensitive information.” The judge said he would issue a revised version of the ruling in the coming days. And in a one-page public order. The Justice Department’s request to prevent the companies from completing the deal was rejected. The court ruling represents an early blow to tougher antitrust enforcement by the Biden administration, which filed a lawsuit in February to block the deal. The Justice Department’s chief antitrust official, Jonathan Kanter, said the department did not agree with the decision. And she was contemplating his next steps,” they wrote, quoting Kanter as saying that “protecting competition and access to affordable health care are extremely important to the Antitrust Department and the Department of Justice.”

Furthermore, Matthews and Kendall write: “The decision is a victory for UnitedHealth, which owns the largest health insurance company in the United States and a healthcare operation that includes thousands of physicians as well as clinics, surgery centers and other assets, along with a robust conglomerate of health data.” They added that “UnitedHealth has agreed to divest business assets related to claims processing to address competition concerns, an offer which the Department of Justice has rejected as insufficient. Judge Nichols in his order requested UnitedHealth to undertake such divestment.”

Matthews and Kendall noted that “UnitedHealth’s change deal, announced in January 2021, will put the health tech company under the company’s Optum health services arm. UnitedHealth has argued that integrating it with Change could help improve care through access to information Better for doctors and less waste Agreed to pay nearly $8 billion for the change and assume about $5 billion in debt The Department of Justice argued that the deal would give UnitedHealth a de facto monopoly on an important tool health insurers use to determine when a claim should be paid, and said it shouldn’t Allow the company to own the Change Healthcare data clearinghouse, which rival insurers use to compete with UnitedHealth.The judge, appointed by former President Donald Trump, signaled his doubts about the lawsuit at a hearing earlier this month.A trial took place in August. “.

as such Mark Riley from Minneapolis/St. Bull Business Magazine Written on July 29UnitedHealth first announced a Nashville-based Change Healthcare deal in early 2021, seeking to incorporate the change into its Optum health services division. However, federal regulators — along with attorneys general in Minnesota and New York — sued to block the takeover, claiming the deal would hurt competition because it would give UnitedHealth too much insight into its insurance and health technology rivals.

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