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    Agencies Launch Inquiry Into Private Equity Control in Health Care

    Gayle Lee, Director, Physician Payment & Quality
    For Media Inquiries

    On March 5, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a request for information (RFI) to seek public comment regarding the effects of private equity and other corporations involvement in health care transactions. The agencies raised concerns that private equity firms and other corporate owners are increasingly involved in health care transactions and that their involvement may threaten patient health, worker safety, quality of care, and affordability of care. Specifically, the RFI requests comment on deals conducted by health systems, private payers, private equity funds, and other alternative asset managers that involve health care providers, facilities, or ancillary products and services. Public comments submitted will inform the agencies identification of enforcement priorities and future action.  

    This RFI complements the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ recent RFI on Medicare Advantage that seeks public feedback on enhancing Medicare Advantage data capabilities and transparency (including on health competition and vertical integration) [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 2], and an RFI issued by the FTC and the HHS on how pharmaceutical drug middleman groups (group purchasing organizations and drug wholesalers) may be contributing to drug shortages [refer to Washington Highlights, Feb. 23].  

    The agencies also participated in an FTC virtual public workshop on March 5 that examined the role of private equity investment in health care markets.