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News & Press: Advocacy

Anthem-Cigna Merger Blocked

Thursday, February 9, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chet Seward
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Anthem-Cigna merger blocked

A federal judge has blocked the proposed $54 billion mega-merger between Anthem and Cigna. The Colorado Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons strongly opposed the merger and joined other Colorado and national physician organizations in advocacy efforts to block the deal. 

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson didn’t buy Anthem’s arguments in favor of the merger. “Anthem is asking the court to go beyond what any court has done before: to bless this merger because customers may end up paying less to healthcare providers for the services that the providers deliver even though the same customers are also likely to end up paying more for what the defendants sell,” Jackson wrote in the order.

News of the blocked merger is good news to Colorado ophthalmologists. “We have listened to our members and know that the pains associated with dealing with commercial health plans would have only been magnified – thereby further limiting our ability to care for our patients – should this merger have been approved,” said CSEPS President Alan Kimura, MD, MPH.  “That is why CSEPS strongly opposed this merger and is pleased to learn that it has been blocked. Stopping this merger, along with the previously blocked Aetna-Humana merger, spotlights the many problems ophthalmologists and the patients they serve face daily with commercial health plans. CSEPS hopes that these blocking decisions serve to strength en the need for further managed care reforms like reducing administrative hassles, enhancing transparency and leveling the playing field between ophthalmologists and health plans,” he concluded.