WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) released the following statement after a ProPublica piece, How Rich Investors, Not Doctors, Profit From Marking Up ER Bills, highlighted how private equity groups that own medical staffing firms are ratcheting up consumer medical bills and skirting state corporate practice of medicine doctrines to increase their profits. Most states have this doctrine enshrined in law, which protects patients and doctors by requiring doctors to work for themselves or other doctors, not non-medical corporations. ProPublica’s investigation shows how private equity groups skirt the law in order to enhance corporate profits at the expense of patients.
“Granite Staters and Americans across the country are drowning in medical bills, and it is outrageous that private equity groups are gaming the system to profit even more off of patients and doctors,” said Senator Hassan. “States have enacted laws specifically to ensure that big corporations cannot use doctors as middlemen to gouge consumers. Yet private equity groups are ratcheting up medical bills and skirting these laws, falsely claiming that they are supporting doctors, and padding their own pockets. Private equity groups must immediately end these practices, and I will continue to work to hold big corporations and insurance companies alike accountable for egregious conduct that harms patients and their families.”
Senator Hassan has led efforts in the Senate to put patients first and bring down health care costs. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Hassan has pushed insurance companies to cover testing and treatment for individuals with COVID-19 and those who are presumptive positive. Senator Hassan helped to advance a major bipartisan bill that would lower prescription drug costs and save Medicare beneficiaries more than $30 billion in premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and Senator Hassan continues to lead efforts to end the practice of surprise medical billing.