Economic Liberties & Coalition Urge NC AG to Enforce Laws Prohibiting the Corporate Practice of Medicine
Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project, together with Take Medicine Back and a coalition of local and national organizations, wrote today to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein requesting an investigation into the widespread violations of the prohibition on the Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPOM) in North Carolina. The coalition also encouraged Stein, who is also the president-elect of the National Association of Attorneys Generals, to consider leading a multi-state investigation into widespread lack of enforcement of CPOM laws in the United States.
The majority of states, including North Carolina, use CPOM laws to prohibit the corporate practice of medicine due to concerns articulated by the American Medical Association, which has argued that “allowing corporations to practice medicine or employ physicians will result in the commercialization of the practice of medicine.” But as the coalition’s letter explains, today, through a series of deceptive legal loopholes and shell corporations, corporate entities, including private equity Wall Street firms, now own an estimated 40% or more of physicians in emergency departments. These firms determine staffing and degrade care, prioritizing profits over patients.
A prominent example in North Carolina – and nationally – is the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), a for-profit hospital system that contracts with TeamHealth, a staffing firm owned by the private-equity firm Blackstone. TeamHealth is well known for pioneering out-of-network “surprise” billing as well as suing and garnishing the wages of the working poor, while leaving the physicians and non-physicians that they employ without billing transparency and without due-process rights.
To address the harms posed by HCA and similar institutions, Attorney Generals like AG Stein must vigorously enforce the law.
Read the full letter to AG Stein here.
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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.