CMA: Protests Aetna/Prudential Merger
The California Medical Association today will petition the state Department of Corporations to withhold approval of the proposed merger between Aetna Inc. and Prudential Health Care Plan of California Inc. CMA wants to block the merger in those areas of the state where it believes Aetna would be engaging in anticompetitive business. CMA President Robert Reid said, "We believe the proposed acquisition will further reduce the overall level of competition in the health care market," which would subsequently impact "access to affordable, quality care for California patients and employers, and the ability of physicians to effectively advocate on their patients' behalves." Furthermore, CMA believes the merger should be completely withheld until Aetna corrects what it regards as illegal provisions in its physicians' contracts. The Knox-Keene Act of 1975 mandates that all medical decisions be made by qualified medical providers, without financial interference. "We do not understand how the DOC could even consider the merger given that Aetna is currently in violation of the law," Reid said (CMA release, 3/4). Aetna contends the merger would not make it too dominant in certain markets.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.