Following a Buzzfeed investigation of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in KKR’s BrightSpring Health Services, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, Bernie Sanders, and Patty Murray sent a five-page letter asking KKR to disclose any facilities that have been found to be in violation of state and federal law, and any settlements reached with people in the company’s care, as well as detailed financial information, including executive compensation and debt payments.
Buzzfeed, May 19, 2022: “Worried” Senators Are Investigating A Private Equity Giant’s Care For People With Disabilities
The letter read, “We have long been worried about the deleterious impact of private equity on health care and patient care. Your company illustrates how private equity firms exploit the health care industry to squeeze out profits at every stage.”
The senators’ letter cited PESP’s 2022 report “The Kids Are Not Alright: How Private Equity Profits Off of Behavioral Health Services for Vulnerable and At-Risk Youth,” which found that, in behavioral services for children and adolescents, private equity’s “focus on reducing expenses at its youth services companies in many cases means cutting staff, relying on unlicensed staff, and failing to adequately train staff.”
Buzzfeed reported, “KKR and other private equity firms have transformed healthcare in recent years, quietly acquiring enormous portions of this sector, from entire hospital chains to addiction treatment centers to women’s health clinics. In 2021 alone, private equity firms invested about $172 billion — more than 10 times the yearly budget of the CDC — in US healthcare companies.”