Private equity takeovers of health care services linked to patient harm

healthcare

Private equity ownership of health care services such as nursing homes and hospitals is associated with harmful impacts on costs and quality of care, suggests a review of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

Private equity ownership of health care services such as nursing homes and hospitals is associated with harmful impacts on costs and quality of care, suggests a review of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today. No consistently beneficial impacts of private equity ownership were identified, and the researchers say these results confirm the need for more research on private equity ownership in health care and possibly increased regulation. Private equity firms use capital from wealthy individuals and large institutional investors to buy companies, and after a relatively brief period of ownership, sell them for substantial returns. Over the past decade, private equity firms have increasingly invested in, acquired, and consolidated health care facilities, with global health care buyouts exceeding $200 billion (£157 billion; €184 billion) since 2021 alone. But despite much speculation, it’s still not clear what impact private equity ownership of health care operators has on costs, quality of care , and health outcomes. To address this uncertainty, researchers analyzed the results of 55 studies (47 focused exclusively on the U.S.) published in peer-reviewed journals in the past two decades. Nursing homes were the most commonly studied settings, followed by hospitals and dermatology facilities. The studies were designed…

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