Colorado ex rel. Weiser v. Unitedhealth Group;
UnitedHealth Group sought to acquire the physician practice group of DaVita Inc., which owned two large physician’s’groups in Colorado Springs. UnitedHealthcare is the largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans in the region. The FTC investigated the merger but did not take any action with respect to Colorado. The state filed a complaint in state court aleging that the transaction would give the combined parties the ability to raise their price to other insurance companies that serve Medicare Advantage patients in the Colorado Springs area. The state alleged that the merger would resultin “reduced competition, higher health care costs, reduced benefits and fewer choices for seniors.” The state reached a consent judgment with the parties, under which UnitedHealthcare will lift its exclusive contract with Centura Health for at least 3.5 years, which will expand the network of healthcare providers available to seniors in Medicare Advantage plans offered by other providers. In addition, DaVita Medical Group’s agreement with Humanaâ€”UnitedHealthcare’s main competitor in Colorado Springsâ€”will be extended without change through at least the end of 2020 .