Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and Department of Health and Human Services Issue Request for Public Input as Part of Inquiry into Impacts of Corporate Ownership Trend in Health Care

From DOJ Office of Public Affairs:

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have launched a joint public inquiry into the increasing control of private-equity and corporate entities over healthcare. This inquiry aims to understand how certain healthcare market transactions may lead to increased consolidation, generate profits for firms, and potentially threaten patient health, worker safety, and the affordability and quality of care.

The agencies are seeking public comment on deals conducted by health systems, private payers, private equity funds, and other alternative asset managers that involve healthcare providers, facilities, or ancillary products or services. This includes transactions that would not be reported to the Justice Department or FTC for antitrust review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Research indicates that competition in healthcare provider and payer markets promotes higher quality, lower-cost healthcare, greater access to care, increased innovation, higher wages, and better benefits for healthcare workers. The responses to the RFI will inform the agencies’ enforcement priorities and future actions, including potential regulations aimed at promoting and protecting competition in healthcare markets and ensuring appropriate access to quality, affordable healthcare items and services.

The public, including patients, consumer advocates, doctors, nurses, healthcare providers and administrators, employers, insurers, and more, are invited to share their comments in response to the RFI within 60 days. The agencies are particularly interested in comments on a variety of transactions, including those involving dialysis clinics, nursing homes, hospice providers, primary care providers, hospitals, home health agencies, home- and community-based services providers, behavioral health providers, as well as billing and collections services.