AIC Speaks Out Against Agenda-Driven FTC “Public Workshop” That Ignores Private Equity’s Full Record

The FTC should solicit voices who can speak to the many positive impacts of private equity investment in the health care sector.

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, the American Investment Council delivered a letter urging Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan to engage in good governance to ensure that an upcoming virtual public workshop discussing private equity investments in health care markets is appropriately balanced and objective, and includes witnesses who can speak to private equity’s critical role supporting quality, affordable health care. Based on a list of expected witnesses, this so-called workshop will be little more than a series of one-sided presentations advancing the agency’s “concerns” about the purportedly “harmful effects” of private equity investment.

  • “The Commission was established as an independent, nonpartisan agency which reflects Congress’s expectation that its decisions will be grounded in impartial economic and policy analysis. Rather than send the message that it has already made up its mind, the Commission should instead use the workshop to solicit and engage with a diverse set of perspectives on the important questions at issue, many of which are empirical in nature,” said American Investment Council General Counsel Rebekah Goshorn Jurata.

The American Investment Council (AIC) recently released a report highlighting the nearly $73 billion private equity has raised to improve health care companies. The AIC also 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. The same study found that wages increase significantly at private equity-backed hospitals.
  • 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 far better under 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.