George Wolfe Co-Authors Article Analyzing Procompetitive Antitrust Implications of Vertical Health Care Integration
The Antitrust Source has published “Managed Care Marketplaces: Growing Drivers of Payer-Provider Vertical Integration,” an article co-authored by George Wolfe, an associate in the antitrust practice at Akin Gump, and Brian J. Miller, M.D., an adjunct assistant professor at the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The article analyzes payer-provider vertical health care integration from an antitrust perspective by discussing the Omni Healthcare v. Health First federal district court litigation. It proceeds to examine the ongoing health care marketplace changes, and assesses the role that efficiencies play in vertical health care consolidation antitrust enforcement policy. The authors determine that “despite the complex market structure of healthcare insurance and delivery vehicles, there does not appear to be any empirical evidence supporting the view that vertical healthcare affiliations pose a risk of antitrust harm greater than standard vertical theories would predict.”
Wolfe and Miller conclude that “meaningful vertical integration is generally procompetitive and yields tangible quality benefits for consumers,” and recommend a cautious antitrust enforcement approach in “determining whether to assert antitrust challenges to vertically integrated healthcare systems.” They also counsel that “healthcare companies seeking to take advantage of the substantial benefits that vertical integration offers be prepared for a detailed antitrust review in markets where they have dominant positions…”
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