A group of private equity-backed physician staffing companies have created an undercover lobbying group focused on surprise medical billing. According to STAT News, the group “Americans for Fair Healthcare” has formed an “under the radar coalition” that will lobby on the No Surprises Act.

The No Surprises Act was enacted to lower health care costs and protect patients and their families from surprise medical bills. Unfortunately, certain provider organizations continue attacking the No Surprises Act through a series of lawsuits, most recently from the Texas Medical Association and LifeNet. As the No Surprises Act continues to be implemented, it is essential that the regulations remain in place to protect patients from surprise bills and higher health care costs.

Read the article below.

Private equity’s new undercover lobbying effort

Five big, private equity-backed physician staffing companies have banded together to form an under-the-radar coalition to lobby on the government’s implementation of a new law banning surprise medical billing.

The major players involved include KKR-backed Envision Healthcare (which has its own financial woes), ApolloMD, which is backed by ValorBridge Partners, Radiology Partners, which is backed by Starr Investment Holdings, SCP Health, which is backed by Onex, and TeamHealth, which is backed by Blackstone.

The firms have formed a group called “Americans for Fair Healthcare” run by the lobbying firm Liberty Partners Group, per recent lobbying filings. There’s no website or other public presence for the coalition, which is lobbying on surprise billing and ”appropriate health plan coverage for physician services.” Liberty Partners Group didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Longtime followers of the surprise billing debate will remember that this is a familiar tactic. TeamHealth and Envision hid behind a dark-money group called “Doctor Patient Unity” in 2019 to run television advertisements before the law passed.