Ideas and Opinions15 January 2019
    Author, Article and Disclosure Information

    Acquisition of physician practices by private equity firms has increased dramatically during the past few years (1). Such acquisitions are a significant phenomenon with unknown consequences for physicians and patients, although they have received little attention from researchers and policymakers.

    We describe this phenomenon and explore its implications, based on review of the gray literature and the very limited peer-reviewed literature. We interviewed 21 knowledgeable individuals around the United States, including consultants; attorneys; investment bankers; and leaders of private equity firms, physician practices, and health insurers.

    Private equity firms invest in many industries using capital provided by pension funds, sovereign ...


    • 1. Herschman GWPhysician groups should consider strategic options as mergers, acquisitions boom. MGMA Connex2018;(May);26-8. Google Scholar
    • 2. Pavarini PA, Schaff MF. New barbarians at the gate? What private equity wants from medical practices and how to advise clients. Presented at American Health Lawyers Association Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute, Orlando, Florida, 1–3 February 2017. Google Scholar
    • 3. Resneck JSDermatology practice consolidation fueled by private equity investment: potential consequences for the specialty and patients. JAMA Dermatol2018;154:13-4. [PMID: 29164229] doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5558 CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
    • 4. Hafner K, Palmer G. Skin cancers rise, along with questionable treatments. The New York Times. 20 November 2017. Accessed at on 28 November 2018. Google Scholar
    • 5. Irving Levin Associates. 2018. Accessed at on 28 October 2018. Google Scholar
    • 6. Casalino LPThe Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the corporate transformation of American medicine. Health Aff (Millwood)2017;36:865-9. [PMID: 28461353] doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2016.1536 CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
    • 7. Reinhardt UEThe rise and fall of the physician practice management industry. Health Aff (Millwood)2000;19:42-55. [PMID: 10645072] CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
    • 8. Robbins CJRudsenske TVaughan JSPrivate equity investment in health care services. Health Aff (Millwood)2008;27:1389-98. [PMID: 18780929] doi:10.1377/hlthaff.27.5.1389 CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
    • 9. Burns LRPauly MVTransformation of the health care industry: curb your enthusiasm? Milbank Q2018;96:57-109. [PMID: 29504199] doi:10.1111/1468-0009.12312 CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
    • 10. Burns LRGoldsmith JCSen AHorizontal and vertical integration of physicians: a tale of two tails. Adv Health Care Manag2013;15:39-117. [PMID: 24749213] CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar