UnitedHealth Group has completed its acquisition of Tennessee-based Change Healthcare, a $13 billion dollar deal the Justice Department unsuccessfully tried to block this year on competitive grounds.
Change Healthcare is a health care data firm that’s now a part of Optum, the division for health care services at Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group.
“The combination will connect and simplify the core clinical, administrative and payment processes health care providers and payers depend on to serve patients,” the company said in a statement on Monday. “Increasing efficiency and reducing friction will benefit the entire health system, resulting in lower costs and a better experience for all stakeholders.”
In February, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging the merger could potentially harm millions of Americans by lowering the quality of health insurance while also making coverage more costly.
But last month a judge in the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C. ruled the government failed to show during a two-week trial in August that the acquisition would substantially diminish competition.
Change Healthcare operates the nation’s largest electronic data interchange (EDI) clearinghouse, which health care providers use to submit claims for payment and insurers use to provide remittances.
The Justice Department asserted that by controlling the clearinghouse, UnitedHealth would have access to rival health insurers’ competitively sensitive information and could use it for its own benefit while blocking innovations for competitors. But Judge Carl Nichols determined the government didn’t make its case.
Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.