(Yahoo Finance – Seana Smith, Brad Smith) —  Department of Justice (DOJ) officials have launched an antitrust probe into the relationship between UnitedHealth Group’s (UNH) insurance division and its Optum health services segment, according to Wall Street Journal reporting.

Yahoo Finance Health Reporter Anjalee Khemlani breaks down the details, highlighting the other challenges UnitedHealth is facing.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor’s note: This article was written by Luke Carberry Mogan.

Video Transcript

BRAD SMITH: Shares of UnitedHealth under pressure this morning after the US Department of Justice reportedly kicks off an antitrust investigation into the company’s relationship between its insurance unit and health services arm, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more on this, we’ve got Yahoo Finance’s Anjalee Khemlani here with us with more. Hey, Anj.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: That’s right, guys. Hey. Yeah, this report not surprising a lot of people who have either, you know, looked at United’s strategy before, or those who are former employees. We’ve actually spoken to some of those folks ourselves here at Yahoo Finance.

And I’ll say that some of the things listed in this report, including what the relationship is between the two sides, and whether or not the company is inflating costs and inflating claims from one side to the other, really touches on some points of concern that others have had over the years, especially as Optum has grown to be the largest, or one of the largest, employers of physicians. So really setting up the company for a hard look. And it is not a very good year for United.

If you take a look back in the past year, not only did they recently have that cyber attack on their Change Healthcare subsidiary, but they also are facing a class-action lawsuit for denying claims through AI for elderly Medicare Advantage members. So, it really has been a tough year for the company when it comes to a lot of the different moving parts of it. And it’s interesting that this is the thing that has really hit the stock.

But what the results of that probe will be, of course, we will have to see. But I’ve heard over the past several months that, basically, what has happened is, you know, there has been looking like inflation of the business that Optum has done over time, making it look like a really strong growth company when really it was just one side of the company funneling to another. So, will be interesting to see if those claims pan out.

SEANA SMITH: And it’s a story we are going to continue to track. Again, UnitedHealth under pressure, off just nearly 4% here.

Additional Reading

UnitedHealth Stock Falls After Report Says the Justice Department Has Launched an Antitrust Investigation