DOJ to Test UnitedHealth’s ‘Firewall’ With Antitrust Probe

  • Mar 01, 2024

    The U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has opened an antitrust investigation into UnitedHealth Group, according to an internal company document shared with AIS Health and a Wall Street Journal report citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.  

    Federal regulators are reportedly seeking information about how the Minnesota-based company’s UnitedHealthcare insurance arm interacts with the many provider acquisitions that its Optum division has made in recent years — and how that relationship affects competition.  

    One health care economist says that while many unanswered questions remain, the result of a different investigation into provider consolidation suggests that the DOJ’s probe of UnitedHealth could end in an antitrust lawsuit.  

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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