Rob FullerRob Fuller was quoted in The New York Times article titled “Failure of 2 Health Insurer Mergers Is Unlikely to Stop the Efforts”.

The Justice Department is expected to block two mergers involving four of the nation’s five largest health insurance companies, on the ground that the deals would harm competition. But don’t expect the action to stop the consolidation in the health care industry anytime soon.

No matter the fate of the deals between Anthem and Cigna, and Aetna and Humana, hospitals, doctors’ groups and even insurers are almost certain to continue their scramble to find partners in a rapidly changing environment. Blockbuster deals may slow, but smaller combinations will remain attractive.

“There’s going to be massive pressure for consolidation, just based on the A.C.A.,” said Rob Fuller, a former hospital executive who is a partner at Nelson Hardiman, referring to the Affordable Care Act, the federal law that ushered in significant changes to health insurance and the overall market.

The law encourages much closer coordination in health care, he said, and insurers and hospitals need more customers to be much more efficient. “You’re not going to achieve the economies of scale unless you allow consolidation,” he said.


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