Federal Judges Block Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana Deals to Protect Market Competition and Healthcare Consumers

Mergers that would have reshaped the nation’s largest insurance companies would directly affect the provider networks independent medical laboratories rely on

For pathology groups and medical laboratories, the news about two thwarted deals involving mega insurance companies might be seen as a positive development.

The proposed deals—Anthem’s $48-billion bid to buy Cigna, and a proposed $37-billion AetnaHumana merger—would have reshaped the US health insurance industry had they not been blocked by federal judges who cited possible harm to market competition, Bloomberg reported.

For now, all four health insurance companies will continue to use their existing provider networks, which is good news for clinical laboratories. Experts had expected the bigger players in each deal—Anthem and Aetna—to possibly prune the provider networks of Cigna and Humana, respectively, which could have financially burdened thousands of healthcare organizations and independent medical laboratories. (more…)