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Monday, October 12, 2015

TMA Raises Serious Concerns About Aetna-Humana Merger


If Aetna is allowed to complete its deal to buy Humana, our state’s already highly concentrated health insurance market would be even less competitive. And that would be bad for physicians and patients. That’s what TMA wrote in a formal comment letter to the Department of Justice. Texas’ many one- to three-physician groups “may have very little negotiating leverage to allow them to secure favorable pricing terms,” we wrote. “Health plans that can wield unchecked pricing power can force physician practices out of business.” That would create access problems for patients in addition to the problems associated with trying to buy insurance in noncompetitive markets. The letter cited data showing the purchase would give the new company “enhanced market power” in San Antonio, Houston, Austin, El Paso, Corpus Christi, and many other Texas markets.

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