Various interest groups and politicians have called for reinvigorated antitrust investigations of health insurance mergers. Many of these commentators have expressed the view that the federal antitrust authorities have been lax in the enforcement of the antitrust laws with respect to these transactions. “Evaluating Federal and State Antitrust Reviews of Health Insurance Mergers,” a study co-authored and edited by EI Principal David A. Argue and prepared through the American Health Lawyers Association, considers twelve health insurance plan mergers announced between 1995 and 2010 for which information is publicly available. One of the primary objectives of the study is to explore whether DOJ has faithfully followed the Merger Guidelines framework. Related to that is an assessment of how DOJ’s enforcement of federal antitrust policy has evolved and how it differs across transactions. It also examines how state authorities have evaluated health plan mergers, both in comparison to the federal agencies and among each other. The authors found that there is little in the record from health plan transactions to support claims that federal investigations of health plan mergers have been haphazard. The full study is available at http://webportal.healthlawyers.org/Purchase/ProductDetail.aspx?Product_code=35d9400a-e3aa-df11-875e-001b78e0f982.
Dr. Argue is located at Economists Incorporated’s Washington, DC office. He has taught health economics courses in the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University. While at Economists Incorporated, Dr. Argue has analyzed competition and performed damages analyses in various health care markets for government merger reviews and private antitrust litigation. Among the health care areas in which Dr. Argue has worked are hospitals, physician practices, ambulatory surgery centers, health insurance and pharmaceuticals. He has written and spoken on health care matters numerous times over the past 15 years. Dr. Argue’s recent experience includes an analysis and testimony before the Utah legislature about health care markets in Utah and testimony in Omnicare v. UnitedHealth Group.