Lawmaker Urges GAO to Investigate Private Equity Ownership of Nursing Homes, Others
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) is urging the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to examine the relationship between private equity (PE) investments and the subsequent closures of healthcare facilities. In a recent letter to the agency, Pascrell noted rising nursing home mortality rates and surprise billings as well as reduced access to safety net hospitals and other critical healthcare providers.
"These patterns demand further attention so that policymakers can protect patients and better understand the consequences to the health care delivery system," he wrote. "Further, reports about bankruptcies or closures following PE buyouts are concerning because of their far-reaching impact on patients, families, health care workers, and communities." In particular, Pascrell asked the GAO to find out how many healthcare facilities or providers have closed or filed for bankruptcy after investments from PE firms over the past 10-15 years. In addition, he questioned whether there were any geographic trends associated with PE-owned facility bankruptcies or closures and if there is an association between PE buyouts and facilities that serve marginalized or underserved populations. "These trends merit further investigation on a more holistic basis, as the closure or bankruptcy of healthcare facilities threatens the health of communities, raising significant concerns about access to care," Pascrell noted.
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