Lawmakers look to increase transparency of private equity healthcare deals

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are looking to increase transparency in private equity-backed healthcare deals, Politico reported Sept. 11.

As interest rates have rapidly risen, the cheap debt that private equity used to increase its reach in healthcare through acquisitions of providers, long-term care centers, nursing homes and health centers has become more expensive, which has sparked concern among lawmakers over the providers' financial stability. 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., sponsored a bill designed to increase transparency into private equity's operations. 

"I'm very worried that we're going to see more closures and also that we're going to see worse health outcomes," Ms. Jayapal told Politico. "We're talking about life and death situations."

In the spring, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed a bill, led by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., that would force some private equity-backed businesses to disclose more information about their operations and financing. 

The unanimous vote is a signal that the powerful industry could be declining in influence. CMS is also moving forward with a new set of rules targeting private equity acquisitions of nursing homes.

Private equity industry representatives told Politico that it is unfair to blame healthcare's struggles on private equity. Additionally, they said that the financial backing of private equity has helped preserve care in rural areas.

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