To Read the Memorandum Opinion: 2017-04-05 Memorandum Opinion
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court panel on Friday asked tough questions of health insurer Anthem Inc., which is attempting to salvage its proposed $48 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. after a trial judge blocked the combination as anticompetitive.
The Anthem appeal, which took place in front of a large crowd at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was surprisingly lively — and lengthy — as three judges said the case presented novel and difficult issues.
“We haven’t had a case like this,” Judge Brett Kavanaugh said.
The session was supposed to last for 40 minutes; the judges instead asked questions for about two hours.
Many of those questions focused on Anthem’s arguments that any anticompetitive problems with its purchase of a rival insurer were outweighed by what it said were billions of dollars in cost savings that would result.
That money would be passed along to employers and consumers in the form of lower health care costs, Anthem lawyer Christopher Curran argued. The trial judge who blocked the merger “ignored medical cost savings,” Mr. Curran said. “We believe that was an error.”
The D.C. Circuit judges, however, noted that Anthem’s cost savings would come at the expense of doctors and hospitals, which would face lower reimbursement rates from a combined Anthem-Cigna.
By JC Reindl
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s chief executive saw his bonus jump last year as the health insurance giant saw better financial results and is now planning to lower rates for its small businesses coverage.
Total compensation for Daniel Loepp, CEO of Blue Cross since 2006, hit $10.9 million in 2016, up from $9 million in 2015. His specific compensation was $1.5 million in base salary, $8.3 million in bonuses and $1 million in “other” compensation, such as car allowance and life insurance, company officials said.
Law360, New York (March 14, 2017, 5:50 PM EDT) — A Texas federal judge on Monday rejected Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana’s request for judgment in its favor, reconsideration or a new trial in a $26 million contract suit brought by Encompass Office Solutions over the insurer’s alleged anti-competitive actions and refusal to cover insurance claims.
U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn did not issue an opinion with her order but said she would eventually do so. The insurer’s motion came after a jury agreed with Encompass’s argument that Blue Cross had refused to cover $1.4 million in claims and had used its control over the market to constrain the company’s business, resulting in the loss of $25 million in future revenue.
Judge Lynn ordered Encompass, a surgical services provider, to file a proposed final judgment by March 24.
By: Allie Johnson
(KMSP) – Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota announced Monday it is ending its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota effective on July 5, unless a new contract agreement is reached.
Children’s says Blue Cross is demanding a double-digit reduction in payments to the hospitals to provide care for patients insured through Medicaid.
Calling the merger a “significant blow” to hospitals’ attempts to move toward a payment system that rewards good outcomes, instead of fee-for-service reimbursement, the American Hospital Association on Thursday filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to uphold a lower court decision blocking Anthem Inc.’s proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp.
The AHA is a national organization representing nearly 5,000 hospitals and other providers and 43,000 individual members.
The American Medical Association and The Medical Society of the District of Columbia as Amici Curiae filed a brief on March 17, 2017 in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in the Anthem and Cigna merger case.
To Read the Brief: 1666503-Consent Amicus for Appellee Brief
Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S District Court for the District of Columbia unsealed the Memorandum Opinion in United States v. Anthem (Civil Action No.: 16-1493) The opinion held that “Because the effect of Anthem’s acquisition of Cigna may be substantially to lessen competition in the market for the sale of medical health insurance to national accounts in the fourteen Anthem states and the sale of medical insurance to large group employers in the Richmond, Virginia CBSA, the Court will enjoin the merger.
Click to Read the Opinion: 523-Memorandum Opinion (Redacted)