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DOJ drops appeal of UnitedHealthcare-Change $13 billion merger

by John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | March 27, 2023
Business Affairs
The DOJ has dropped its appeal of UnitedHealthcare Group's and Change Healthcare's $13 billion merger.
The federal government and several states have voluntarily dropped their appeal to stop UnitedHealth Group’s $13 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare.

Attorneys for the Department of Justice, New York and Minnesota filed to dismiss their appeal in court Monday, giving no specific reason as to why they were doing so now, according to Reuters.

The DOJ filed an appeal in November following a court decision in September that allowed the merger to proceed, which it did the following month, with Change becoming part of UHG’s Optum subsidiary. UnitedHealth at the time said the appeal was "entirely without Merit."

Announcing their deal in January 2021, the Department of Justice and critics argued that the merger would create a monopoly for UHG by giving it access to sensitive information from rival insurers, hinder health IT competition, and lead to hospital price hikes for lower quality care. The DOJ filed its suit to stop the deal in February 2022.

UHG said combining its analytical prowess and individual health record with Change’s technology for integrating clinical evidence into workflows would help clinicians make faster, more informed decisions.

It also said the merger would speed up and make services more accurate by integrating Optum's advanced data analytics with Change’s intelligent healthcare network to collect insights from billions of claims. Additionally, it would simplify transactions to create more real-time transparency and enhance IT workflow.

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