Under the proposed settlement, no later than 40 days after the acquisition is final, UnitedHealth Group will divest DaVita Medical Group’s healthcare provider organization in the Las Vegas Area (known as HealthCare Partners of Nevada) to Intermountain Healthcare, a Utah-based healthcare provider and insurer.
The complaint alleges that without a remedy in the Las Vegas Area, the proposed acquisition will likely reduce competition in the markets for:
Managed care provider organization (MCPO) services sold to Medicare Advantage insurers; and
Medicare Advantage plans sold to individual Medicare Advantage members.
According to the complaint, in the Las Vegas Area, the proposed acquisition would eliminate competition between UnitedHealth Group’s OptumCare and DaVita Medical Group’s HealthCare Partners of Nevada, resulting in a near monopoly controlling more than 80 percent of the market for services delivered by MCPOs to Medicare Advantage insurers. The complaint alleges that elimination of this competition would increase healthcare costs and decrease competition on quality, services, and other amenities in the affected area.
The proposed acquisition would also result in anticompetitive effects due to the vertical integration of UnitedHealth Group’s UnitedHealthcare, the area’s leading Medicare Advantage insurer, with a larger combined MCPO service provider. The proposed acquisition positions UnitedHealth Group to raise the costs of its MCPO services to rival Medicare Advantage insurers, or even withhold such services from these rivals, according to the complaint. Without a remedy, the acquisition would increase the likelihood that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will make higher payments to Medicare Advantage insurers, and seniors in the Las Vegas Area would incur higher cost-sharing payments and receive fewer benefits and lower quality healthcare services.
provide transition assistance to Intermountain Healthcare that includes access to and use of intellectual property and business equipment and information;
properly transfer all confidential business information;
for one year after the divestiture date, provide Intermountain Healthcare with the opportunity to interview and hire employees to fill key information technology and critical services positions in HealthCare Partners of Nevada; and
until the divestiture is complete, maintain the assets and marketability of HealthCare Partners of Nevada.
The proposed settlement also appoints John P. Harris as the monitor to ensure that UnitedHealth Group and DaVita comply with all of their obligations under the order. If the parties do not fully comply with their divestiture obligations, the order allows the Commission to appoint a divestiture trustee. Concurrently with the proposed settlement, Intermountain Healthcare will divest its minority stake in rival Las Vegas Area MCPO, P3 Health Partners.
Commission staff worked closely and cooperatively with various state attorneys general throughout this investigation.
NOTE: When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $42,530.