May 7, 2024

Federal bill targeting private equity would have ‘chilling effect’ on assisted living investment, access, leaders say

McKnights Senior Living

Proposed federal legislation targeted increased transparency and accountability for private equity in healthcare, if passed, would have a “chilling effect” on future investment in assisted living and would jeopardize access to the setting, according to senior living industry leaders.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) solicited stakeholder comments on a draft of the Health Over Wealth Act, which industry experts said inappropriately lumps assisted living in with more clinical healthcare settings. 

The proposal comes after the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice launched a cross-government public inquiry into private equity’s role in healthcare, specifically mentioning home- and community-based services providers, nursing homes, home health agencies, hospice providers and other types of service providers.

In a joint letter to Markey, the American Seniors Housing Association and Argentum said that they were “very concerned” about the approach taken with his legislation, which they said would have “catastrophic consequences” for older adults and their families. The associations said the act “creates unnecessary restrictions and an overly burdensome regulatory process to rein in the participation of specific capital sources in certain for-profit healthcare entities.”

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