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US: Doctors worried about Aetna-Humana merger

 |  November 2, 2015

The Texas Medical Association has asked the US Department of Justice to further investigate the proposed merger of insurance giants Aetna and Humana, complaining such an alliance would be damaging for both patients and physicians in the state by further reducing competition.

“We feel like this is of paramount importance in Texas,” said Dr. Joseph Valenti, a Denton obstetrician-gynecologist and chairman of the council of socioeconomics for the 48,000-plus-member Texas Medical Association. The TMA is considered one of the strongest medical associations in the country with roughly 80 percent membership among state physicians, he said.

Valenti wrote an Oct. 6 letter to William Baer, US assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, saying that Texas is home mostly to small, one- to three-doctor practices, and as such these small players are left with little or no bargaining power against a shrinking number of insurance companies when negotiating rates.

Full content: Houston Chronicle

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