Monday, March 24, 2008

Carlyle to Lance "Lancet"?

Recall the controversial public health study that cited some 655,000 lives lost in Iraq as a result of the conditions of war? A politically connected private equity firm could have a say in future content published in The Lancet. The Times (London) reported the Carlyle Group as interested in Reed Elsevier's trade magazines division.

If Carlyle wins The Lancet's corporate parent, could such a story be run under their ownership? Maybe, maybe not. But I can assure you they couldn't do an unbiased examination of 24 patient deaths in LifeCare's long term acute care facility in New Orleans post Katrina. Why? Carlyle closed the purchase of LifeCare just weeks before Katrina sideswiped the Big Easy.

Funny, this potential publisher of factual information got lucky in Fran Townsend's robust investigation. The White House Lessons Learned report omitted any mention of Lifecare and their death toll, the highest of any hospital. Carlyle knows how to manage their image. How will Reed Elsevier's trade magazines help in that regard? Time will tell.