The Carlyle Group's $6.3 billion July buyout of nursing home operator Manor Care came just in time to get the company ensnared in concerns over private equity's health care operations. Now Carlyle's enlisted Dutko Worldwide to attend to its needs on the Hill.
A September New York Times report into private equity’s ventures into nursing homes found private equity groups had sometimes slashed staff below legal minimums. Citing the report, Reps John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts (D-Mass.), chairman the Financial Services Committee, announced investigations, and a number of state bodies have followed suit.
Carlyle's contract was live as of the Monday before Thanksgiving. According to Dutko’s registration form, the firm’s responsibilities will be “monitoring and advising client as to the issue regarding private equity ownership of health care institutions.”
The three women charged with doing that bring a mix of experience to the table. One, Laine Glisson, is a former aide to John Breaux who lists her work with the National Bi-partisan Commission on the Future of Medicare as key item on her firm bio. The second is Cartier Esham, Dutko’s director of research and a registered lobbyist for retirement communities and a number of health-related clients. Finally, there’s the recently-arrived Judy Lemon, whose background isn’t in healthcare. But she is the former chief of staff to Speaker Nancy Pelosi.