PESP Participates in Oregon’s Health Care Market Oversight Program
On March 1, 2022, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced the launch of the state’s new Health Care Market Oversight (HCMO) program, which was created due to the passage of HB 2362 in the 2021 Legislative Session. The new law directs OHA to review transactions that consolidate the health system in a way that could impact the costs, quality, and access associated with Oregon’s healthcare system.
As of the program’s launch, large health care entities such as hospitals, health insurance companies, and provider groups proposing to merge or acquire other entities must file notice with the HCMO. The review process also allows for the community to understand the potential impacts of a transaction and offer comments in support of or against a proposed healthcare transaction.
On June 28, 2022, the Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP) took the opportunity to recommend against the proposed acquisition of Kindred at Home by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice through the HCMO comment process. Citing our March 2022 report, Private Equity at Home: Wall Street’s Incursion into the Home Healthcare and Hospice Industries, PESP stressed to OHA that private equity investment in hospice has real potential to exacerbate issues already present in the largely for-profit hospice industry due to profit maximization.
Such issues include decreased visits to hospice patients by professional staff, using under-licensed employees for visits and prioritizing patients who are anticipated to remain in hospice for longer periods of time than those who are predicted to die sooner, among others.
Ultimately, OHA completed a 30-day preliminary review and approved this transaction on July 14, 2022.
The Lund Report reported on the deal and its review in a July 19 article, which also references PESP’s letter. You can read PESP’s full letter to the OHA here. If you have any questions about state healthcare merger review laws like Oregon’s, please contact PESP’s Policy Coordinator, Chris Noble, at email@example.com.