This is where private equity is most involved in medicine

When it comes to investing in private equity in physician practices, there are differences across geographies and medical specialties, accordingly Posted search by Foundation National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) this week.

Among the six specialties reviewed, the proportion of physicians working in practices acquired in private equity was highest in dermatology (7.5%), gastroenterology (7.4%), and in the Northeast (6.8%), said Yashweni Singh, MPA , from Bloomberg. Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore and colleagues.

The team noted that other specialties with a higher percentage of physicians working in private equity-acquired practices included urology (6.5%), ophthalmology (5.1%), obstetrics and gynecology (4.7%), and orthopedics (1.9%). Gamma Health Forum.

While the prevalence of private equity was highest in the Northeast, it was lowest in the Midwest (3.8%). The states with the highest private equity penetration were Arizona (17.5%), New Jersey (13.6%), Maryland (13.1%), Connecticut (12.6%) and Florida (10.8%). Washington, D.C. had the highest penetration rate of all areas, at 18.2%.

“These acquisitions are not done randomly,” Singh said. MedPage today.

Now that the initial work is complete, and the research team can see where the focused private equity activity is, there is a new set of questions to understand, she said. These include identifying the regulatory and economic environments that may facilitate such activity, as well as the implications for healthcare spending and patient outcomes.

“Because some private equity acquisitions consolidate physician practices into larger organizations, the geographic concentration of private equity penetration may be associated with reduced competition among physicians, which could lead to higher prices,” the researchers wrote in their study.

Singh noted that the goal is to identify the unintended effects of private equity acquisitions. If these are beneficial, such as large inflows of capital improving technology or infrastructure or patient waiting times, it may be desirable to incentivize policies that promote such acquisitions. At the same time, it is important to pay close attention to any negative effects, such as poor quality of care or access to care.

In this cross-sectional study, researchers examined 2019 data from the IQVIA OneKey database, which includes physician and practice information on 9.7 million health professionals. Data were compiled from the American Physician Association Masterfile and private data collection.

The 2019 data included 97,094 physicians in the six specialties, of whom 4.9% worked in private equity holding practices.

Private equity penetration at the hospital referral district and state level was calculated as an estimated percentage of practicing physicians in the six specialties belonging to practices acquired in private equity.

Among the 200 hospital referral districts, an average of 5.6% of physicians were in privately owned practices.

The researchers acknowledged that the data may not capture all private equity acquisitions, which may underestimate the prevalence of physicians’ practice. In addition, the use of secondary data from OneKey may include sampling and measurement error.

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    Jennifer Henderson She joined MedPage Today as a founder and investigative writer in January 2021. She has covered the New York City healthcare industry, life sciences and legal business, among other areas.


This work was supported by the National Institute of Health Care Administration Foundation and a grant from the National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director, NIH Director’s Early Independence Award.

Singh reported no conflict of interest. Co-authors have reported relationships with the National Institute for Health Care Administration, the National Institutes of Health, Extended Health, the National Institute on Aging, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Research Triangle Institute, Google Ventures, Value-Based Insurance Design Health, and the International Corporation for Employee Benefit Plans. .

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