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Consumer Watchdog testifies at Aetna-CVS merger hearing

Staff Writer |
Consumer Watchdog testified at the California Department of Insurance hearing on the proposed merger of Aetna into CVS Health Corporation.

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At the hearing over the merger of the two healthcare giants, staff attorney Benjamin Powell of Consumer Watchdog outlined significant health privacy violations committed by CVS and Aetna affecting HIV patients, and called on the Department of Insurance to require these two companies to demonstrate a commitment to the privacy of their customers before approving the merger.

Consumer Watchdog has been involved in multiple lawsuits over the last several years against Aetna and CVS highlighting significant health and privacy concerns for HIV and AIDS patients, including the adoption of mandatory “mail-order” programs for those taking HIV/AIDS medications and illegal disclosures of members’ HIV status.

Consumer Watchdog contends that these programs demonstrate a blatant disregard for the health and privacy of HIV and AIDS patients.

In the testimony submitted today, Benjamin Powell of Consumer Watchdog told the Department of Insurance:

“Both CVS and Aetna have demonstrated multiple reasons to be extremely concerned about their lack of commitment to protecting the privacy of their enrollees.

“Their failures in the realm of consumer privacy should give the Department considerable pause before deciding to approve this acquisition and subject Californians to the mercy of this consolidated entity.”

The testimony submitted today details Consumer Watchdog’s work in the area of patient privacy, particularly in the realm of consumers suffering from HIV/AIDS.

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