The Biden administration on Tuesday plans to announce it will release ownership data for all 7,000 hospitals that participate in Medicare in an effort to boost transparency.
The move comes amid a rapid increase in private equity investments in hospitals, resulting in an increasingly concentrated market. Private equity firms owned about 4 percent of hospitals as of last year.
Previously, such data was only available after a change in ownership.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the data will be published in an easily searchable format online, and include detailed information about each owner, such as whether it is an organization or an individual and whether a hospital is run under a direct or indirect ownership model. Updated hospital ownership data will be released on a monthly basis.
Making facility ownership information transparent can help enforcement agencies identify common owners that have had histories of poor performance, HHS said. Agencies can also look at how market consolidation impacts consumers.
“We are pulling back the curtain and letting the sunshine in on hospital and nursing home ownership because it is what the public deserves,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement first shared with The Hill. “As we work to expand access to high-quality, affordable health care, we will make sure there is transparency to ensure that facilities are held accountable and people can make the best-informed decisions on their care.”
The move on hospitals follows a similar release about nursing home ownership in September, when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released for the first time data on the ownership of approximately 15,000 Medicare-participating nursing homes, regardless of any change in ownership.
Source: The Hill