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Jayapal Introduces Legislation to Protect Seniors in Nursing Homes from Corporate Greed

The Healthcare Ownership Transparency Act will require private equity firms to disclose ownership stakes in nursing homes and other health care facilities

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) introduced the Healthcare Ownership Transparency Act, which will require private equity firms and other financial interests to disclose ownership stakes in health care facilities including nursing homes. The legislation comes after a study found that 10 percent more patients die at private equity-owned nursing homes. This increased mortality rate led to 20,150 additional deaths due to private equity ownership of nursing homes from 2005-2017. 

“Our senior citizens deserve dignity, respect, and quality care. Their lives are not, cannot, and must not be for sale,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “The Healthcare Ownership Transparency Act will bring some much-needed transparency to the ownership of our health care and elder care facilities and hold accountable the firms who too often put profits over people’s lives. 

“Wall Street buying up health care providers threatens to make our broken health care system even worse. Private equity companies are just out to profit and it is patients that will suffer,” said Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen.“This bill would help us finally begin to unravel the labyrinth of private equity vultures that are buying up health care assets and stripping them for parts. It is a crucial first step in creating accountability and protecting patients.”

“Despite a track record that includes looting safety net hospitals, saddling patients with obscene surprise medical bills, and leaving nursing homes understaffed and residents neglected, private equity investment in healthcare has remained in the shadows. The private equity business model aims to double or triple an investment in just 3-5 years, funding massive payouts for wealthy investors at the expense of the quality of care patients receive,” said Private Equity Stakeholder Project. “The Healthcare Ownership Transparency Act will bring the shadowy Wall Street actors behind these practices to light, so they can no longer raid critical healthcare infrastructure with impunity.” 

In February 2020, a Washington nursing home recorded the first coronavirus deaths in the country, becoming the epicenter of the pandemic. It is vital to ensure that nursing homes provide the quality care that our elderly need to live full and healthy lives. By increasing ownership transparency, the Healthcare Ownership Transparency Act will help protect the lives of our seniors and patients throughout the health care system. The bill will also require a study into the effects of private equity ownership and consolidation in health care on patient care and outcomes, further protecting seniors from rampant corporate greed.