Decision on Anthem-Cigna case could arrive next week

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson could decide the fate of Anthem's proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna next week, as the first phase of the government's challenge to the deal ended Dec. 2, reports WBAA.

The first half of the trial focused on the transaction's effect on the national insurance market, including large employers with employees in several states. If the Department of Justice's argument — that the acquisition would limit national market competition and raise prices for consumers — proves convincing, Judge Jackson will bypass the second phase of the trial. The second phase, which concerns the deal's effect on small market competition, is scheduled to begin Dec. 12. 

During the first phase of the trial, court testimonies revealed Indianapolis-based Anthem and Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna hold several disagreements over their proposed deal. Testimonies from Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish and Cigna CEO David Cordani show Cigna officials questioned Anthem's proposed strategy after acquiring Cigna. Additionally, Anthem officials attempted to push the deal forward unilaterally, as Cigna stopped working with Anthem on issues related to the proposed purchase. 

However, Mr. Swedish said the disagreements will not halt the forward progression of the deal should the court rule in favor of the insurers, arguing the acquisition will make Anthem more innovative, efficient and curb costs.   

More articles on payer issues:
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center joins Anthem BCBS network
BCBS of Massachusetts to receive $40M in risk adjustment payments
Pennsylvania insurance commissioner launches health plan comparison tool

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