The AHA today urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to affirm a district court decision blocking Anthem’s proposed acquisition of Cigna, which concluded that the proposed combination was likely to substantially effect competition in an already highly concentrated market. “The district court’s findings are consistent with the realities that hospitals and health systems experience every day,” AHA said in a friend-of-the-court brief. “Hospitals understand that when payer markets are competitive, payers are more willing to work with hospitals (and physicians) to design innovative solutions to encourage and reward the delivery of better care at a competitive price. When payer markets are concentrated, payers – and in particular, this often specifically means Anthem – are slow to shift from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement to systems that reward the ability to deliver better outcomes. If Anthem were permitted to acquire Cigna the pace of innovation would slow, to the detriment of providers and consumers. The injunction issued by the district court, stopping the acquisition, prevents significant consumer harm that would follow the acquisition, and so should be affirmed.”