DOJ official: Aspects of healthcare competition ‘broken’; antitrust enforcement can help

Health data

It’s no secret the U.S. healthcare competition system has significant flaws. Where the debate exists is in determining the source of the issues and how to fix them, according to a senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official.

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Andrew Forman of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division said in a speech delivered Thursday that while he believes antitrust enforcement is a critical part of the solution to fix the country’s healthcare competition woes, “It is not a magic potion to cure all the competitive ills of the healthcare industry.” He noted in his remarks how of the more than 3,000 comments the agency’s recent draft merger guidelines received, some of the most striking regarded personal comments around healthcare from workers in the space, patients, and companies.

“[T]here is little doubt that key aspects of competition in the healthcare industry are broken,” Forman said. “The system has real competitive problems, and these problems impact real people in real ways.”

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