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Who Employs Your Doctor? Increasingly, a Private Equity Firm.

The New York Times: “A new study finds that private equity firms own more than half of all specialists in certain U.S. markets. In recent years, private equity firms have been gobbling up physician practices to form powerful medical groups across the country, according to a new report released Monday. In more than a quarter of local markets — in places like Tucson, Ariz.; Columbus, Ohio; and Providence, R.I. — a single private equity firm owned more than 30 percent of practices in a given specialty in 2021. In 13 percent of the markets, the firms owned groups employing more than half the local specialists. The medical groups were associated with higher prices in their respective markets, particularly when they controlled a dominant share, according to a paper by researchers at the Petris Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a progressive think tank in Washington, D.C. When a firm controlled more than 30 percent of the market, the cost of care in three specialties — gastroenterology, dermatology, and obstetrics and gynecology — increased by double digits…”

  • See also Private Equity and Your Doctor: Profits Before Patients. Richard M. Scheffler, Ola Abdelhadi | Published April 21, 2023 in Oxford Academic. “Older Americans have unique health needs that require specialized care and support. As people age, they are more likely to develop multiple chronic conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis, which can greatly affect their quality of life (Boyd et al., 2019). Additionally, older adults may also experience physical and cognitive declines, which can make it difficult for them to manage their own healthcare. Access to healthcare and supportive services is crucial for older Americans to maintain their health and independence. Services such as home healthcare, nursing homes, and hospice care play a vital role in helping older adults lead fulfilling lives and maintain their quality of life for as long as possible. The majority of hospice patients are diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, with cancer being the most common (29.6%), followed by circulatory or heart disease (17.4%) and dementia (15.6%) (Hospice Facts & Figures, 2020). Meanwhile, as the American population of persons aged 65 years and over will soon outnumber those under 18 year of age, there are concerns about the quality of care for older Americans as the healthcare industry shifts towards private equity (PE) ownership (Braun, Stevenson, et al., 2021).”
  • See also “the report, Doctored by Wall Street, includes a detailed analysis (Part 2) of how Wall Street’s leveraged buyout business has taken health care by storm over the last decade, resulting in degraded patient care, immense pressure on physicians and nurses, and financially distressed companies, due to private equity’s extractive, debt-driven model. Most importantly, the report also details novel federal policy solutions (Part 1) that can curb the abuses of private equity in health care, including administrative measures that do not require legislation from Congress and rely on traditional regulatory powers:.”

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