Survey finds that physicians are concerned about private equity investment in the health care sector

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Physicians have concerns about the impact that private equity investment in the health care sector has on physician well-being, health care spending, and health equity, according to a new research letter published in the JAMA Internal Medicine. “Physician Perspectives on Private Equity in Health Care” presents the findings of a survey of American College of Physicians (ACP) internal medicine physician members about different aspects of private equity involvement in health care.

“With private equity buying up an increasing number of physician practices, and spinning those into for-profit entities, it is important we examine the impact this change has on physicians, patient care, and the overall health care sector,” said Omar T. Atiq, MD, MACP, president, ACP. “There are limited, existing surveys of medical trainees that document concerns about private equity investment in some subspecialties, our survey assesses the views of internal medicine physicians more broadly.”

In the survey data, most respondents viewed private equity involvement in health care negatively, with only 10% viewing it positively or somewhat positively. Among the physicians surveyed, private equity-employed physicians were less likely to report high professional satisfaction and autonomy as compared to non-private equity-employed physicians, and fewer reported being extremely likely or somewhat likely to remain with their employer.

“ACP’s survey offers a limited glimpse at some ways that private equity is impacting physicians, patient care, and the overall health care sector, however there are numerous other aspects that should be examined,” concluded Dr. Atiq.

More information:
Jane M. Zhu et al, Physician Perspectives on Private Equity Investment in Health Care, JAMA Internal Medicine (2024). DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2024.0062

Journal information:
JAMA Internal Medicine

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