February 22, 2023

Wyden, Warren Call out McKinsey on its Role Directing Nonprofit Hospitals’ Exploitation of Vulnerable Patients

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., today asked McKinsey & Company to answer questions about its role in helping nonprofit hospitals like Providence Health take financial advantage of low-income patients. 

“Providence’s questionable partnership with McKinsey reveals the predatory influence of for-profit consulting firms that prioritize profits over care… When enlisted to help senior executives at Providence increase revenues, McKinsey created a program rife with alarming and predatory tactics that appear to violate the hospital’s nonprofit commitments,” Wyden and Warren wrote to McKinsey & Company Global Managing Partner Bob Sternfels.  

The senators’ letter comes as reporting revealed that McKinsey was paid $45 million to help Providence create a plan to “wring money” out of patients and “pressure them to pay” – even when they were entitled to free care. As a result, more than 55,000 patients were pursued by debt collectors when they should have been offered discounts due to their socioeconomic status. 

McKinsey has previously faced scrutiny for questionable healthcare consulting activity, including settling claims brought by local governments and school districts that alleged the firm’s work for Purdue Pharma helped fuel the opioid addiction. The company is also facing ongoing lawsuits from Native American tribes and families of children harmed by their parents’ use of these opioids during pregnancy.

“This behavior demonstrates a flagrant prioritization of your own company’s bottom line ahead of the public health and well-being of vulnerable communities,” Wyden and Warren concluded.

The text of the letter is here