Resolution in Pittsburgh: DOJ Greenlights Highmark BCBS Deal

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Sparks are settling in the Steel City as the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) cleared the way for Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield to proceed with its half-billion-dollar buy-up of the struggling West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS).

In a statementannouncing its decision, the DOJ ruled that the $475 million deal wouldn’t disincentivize competition from the failing health system “because WPAHS has strong incentives to increase its patient volume…[and] has previously tried to sponsor entry by national insurers and largely failed.”

The move will commence without former Highmark CEO Kenneth R. Melani, who was shown the door last week after a highly publicized brawl with the estranged husband of his mistress.