A subsidiary of UnitedHealth has been indicted on antitrust charges that it maintained years long agreements with rival health-care firms not to recruit each other’s senior-level employees, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Surgical Care Affiliates (SCA) was indicted on two counts in a federal district court in Texas. The Justice Department hasn’t yet announced the case, but the indictment returned by a grand jury was posted on the court’s docket late Wednesday, January 6.
SCA is a leading provider of surgical centers around the US, with more than 200 facilities. UnitedHealth’s Optum health-services arm acquired the company in 2017.
The Justice Department in previous years has brought civil cases challenging no-poach agreements, especially in the tech sector, against companies including Apple, Google, and Intel. When businesses agree not to recruit or hire each other’s workers, it robs employees of opportunities, information, and the ability to use competing offers to negotiate better terms, the Department has argued.