DOJ Announces Task Force Targeting Anticompetitive Conduct in Health Care Industry

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division’s newly formed Task Force on Health Care Monopolies and Collusion (HCMC) “will guide the division’s enforcement strategy and policy approach in health care, including by facilitating policy advocacy, investigations, and where warranted, civil and criminal enforcement in health care markets,” according to its May 9, 2024 announcement.

The HCMC announcement came on the same day that Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter discussed DOJ’s antitrust enforcement efforts with the Washington Post. In that interview, AAG Kanter stated that “[t]he platformization of health care has resulted in multi-sided giants, intermediaries that have a coordinated stack of businesses that flow together, including payers, including providers, including PBMs, claims processing, banks.” The HCMC “will identify and root out monopolies and collusive practices that increase costs, decrease quality and create single points of failure in the health care industry,” according to DOJ’s press release. Katrina Rouse will lead the HCMC.

The HCMC is yet another effort in the so-called “whole-of-government” approach articulated by the Biden Administration to enforce the antitrust laws, in particular with respect to the health care industry. In March, DOJ, with the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, jointly issued a Request for Information requesting public comment on transactions in the health care space. Earlier this month, the agencies extended the comment period by 30 days with the new deadline being June 5, 2024.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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