AIC Calls on FTC to Release Materials from Closed-Door Briefing on Private Equity in Health Care

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the American Investment Council delivered a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan calling on the agency to release testimony and materials from a recently hosted closed-door briefing in which leading economists conducted a more balanced, research-driven discussion on the effects of private equity investments in health care. This closed-door briefing occurred just one day after the FTC hosted a virtual public workshop in which participants expressed uniformly negative views about the role of private equity in health care, rather than reflecting a diversity of views on the topic.

“In the name of good governance and transparency, the AIC calls on the FTC to make public the presentation materials that were discussed during that closed-door briefing,” said AIC General Counsel Rebekah Goshorn Jurata. “The AIC stands willing to assist the Commission with more data and testimonials about the many positive impacts of private equity investment in health care, which improve the economic efficiency of providers while preserving high-quality care for patients.”

Prior to the FTC’s public “workshop” hosted on March 5th, the AIC submitted a letter to Chair Khan calling for a diversity of views on the role of private equity in health care and provided the FTC with extensive independent research and data demonstrating the value of private equity investments in supporting quality, affordable health care for patients across America. Copied below is a sample of this research:

  • Helping Hospitals Hire More Providers – Private equity-backed hospitals employ a higher ratio of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists compared to their non-private equity-backed counterparts, according to research from Indiana and Georgetown Universities.
  • Funding Treatments for Deadly and Life-Threatening Conditions – Private equity investments support research into deadly diseases and the development of life-saving treatments and therapies, filling critical funding gaps in the U.S. health care system. Private equity investments have enabled the development of treatments for several life-threatening conditions, such as Leukemia, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, HIV, and breast cancer, and for several debilitating conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.
  • Expanding Access to Health Care in Rural Communities – Private equity brings innovative solutions and provides critical access to life-saving care in rural and underserved communities. A 2017 study done by West Virginia University looked at MedExpress, a chain of Appalachian urgent care centers that has been heavily supported by private equity. With private equity capital, MedExpress was able to open new locations in more rural areas throughout the region, where hospital closures have become common.
  • Investing in Nursing Homes that Receive Less Medicare Funding – Private equity investments help nursing homes improve financial well-being and the quality of care at a time when skilled nursing homes accepting Medicare patients are facing reduced federal support. A study from the University of California, Los Angeles and Duke University found that private equity-owned nursing homes fared better during COVID-19 than non-private equity-backed homes, with lower rates of cases and deaths.

 Click here to read the full letter from the American Investment Council.

Click here to read a recently published op-ed in Real Clear Health written by AIC President and CEO Drew Maloney examining how private equity investments strengthen health care.