October 18, 2019

Washington Post: Elizabeth Warren takes on Wall Street’s role in our surging medical bills

When we think about private equity, we often think about companies like Toys R Us: purchased with borrowed money, loaded up with debt that ultimately all but destroys the firm. The investors make out, the employees and consumers lose out. But there’s another model too: Buy into a business where you can suck money out of consumers.

That describes the health-care business. And Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has something to say about that.

The Post can exclusively reveal that earlier this week, Warren, along with Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), sent letters to five private equity firms — Enhanced Equity Funds, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, the Blackstone Group, KKR and American Securities — asking them to provide her office not just with a list of all the health-care companies they’ve invested in over the past decade, but revenue earned from both in- and out-of-network billing.

Over the past decade and a half, private equity firms have aggressively upped their presence in the health-care industrial complex. They’ve invested in ambulance transportation, anesthesiology, radiology, emergency room staffing services and so on. Heck, they’re even in companies offering legally required in-hospital newborn hearing tests. The companies often do quite well financially: Priority Ambulance, backed by Enhanced Equity Funds, earned a spot on Inc. magazine’s most recent annual list of fastest-growing privately owned companies thanks, in part, to 248 percent revenue growth over a three-year period. 

Read the full story on The Washington Post website here

By:  Helaine Olen
Source: The Washington Post