UnitedHealth Group may proceed with its proposal to acquire Change Healthcare, a federal district judge ruled yesterday. The Department of Justice, joined by Minnesota and New York, this year challenged the proposed merger, alleging that the $13 billion transaction would harm competition in commercial health insurance markets and in the market for a vital technology used to process claims and reduce health care costs. AHA had urged DOJ to investigate the proposed acquisition.

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to block UnitedHealth Group’s acquisition of Change Healthcare,” said AHA General Counsel Melinda Hatton. “We warned that this deal could lead to a massive concentration of sensitive health care data in the hands of a single, powerful owner with an inherent conflict of interest and we remain concerned despite this ruling. We will continue to advocate to protect patients and their health care providers from anticompetitive conduct by commercial health insurance companies and urge federal authorities to remain vigilant.”

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