AHA yesterday urged the Department of Justice to investigate thoroughly UnitedHealth Group’s proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare because it threatens to reduce competition for the sale of health care information technology services to hospitals and other health care providers.

“The proposed acquisition also would produce a massive consolidation of competitively sensitive health care data and shift such data from Change Healthcare, a neutral third party, to Optum, a subsidiary of UHG,” AHA wrote. “Because Optum’s parent, UHG, also owns the largest health insurance company — UnitedHealthcare — in the United States, the combination of the Parties’ data sets would impact (and likely distort) decisions about patient care and claims processing and denials to the detriment of consumers and health care providers, and further increase UHG’s already massive market power.”

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