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Private equity firms don't just own physician firms and air ambulances that would be most affected by eradicating surprise bills. They also hold stakes in the companies that help health insurers determine what they should pay for out-of-network care.

Why it matters: Private equity has its footprint all throughout health care, but these financial firms especially have a lot on the line in Congress.

By the numbers: Seven major companies — CareCentrix, MedRisk, MultiPlan, naviHealth, One Call, Paradigm and Zelis — are hired by insurers to handle "health care cost containment," which includes things like bill editing and renegotiating out-of-network claims, according to Moody's Investors Service. 

  • Private equity owns a slice of each, and Moody's anticipates the aggregate annual revenue of these companies will reach $8 billion by 2020.
  • Two of those companies, MultiPlan and Zelis, are most directly involved with out-of-network claims and have the most to lose from any changes.

The big picture: Everything hinges on Congress' leading solution, which would use a benchmark rate to pay out-of-network providers.

  • "Should the new legislation set benchmark pricing, repricing claims would become de facto irrelevant, making part of these companies' business models obsolete," Moody's analysts wrote.

Yes, but: Because some of these companies already handle medical bill negotiating between providers and insurers, they "could play an active role in setting benchmark pricing for the industry and could even monetize their expertise," Moody's wrote.

  • "This would lessen the adverse impact of new legislation."

Go deeper: Private equity maximized profits while sick children were neglected

Go deeper

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Jury in Derek Chauvin trial heads into deliberation

The jury of Derek Chauvin's trial has gone into deliberation Monday. The judge told instructed them to "reach a just verdict regardless of what the consequence might be."

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial is seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.