Private Equity Investments In Health Care: An Overview Of Hospital And Health System Leveraged Buyouts, 2003-17.
Private equity firms have increased their participation in the US health care system, raising questions about incentive alignment and downstream effects on patients. However, there is a lack of systematic characterization of private equity acquisition of short-term acute care hospitals. We present an overview of the scope of private equity-backed hospital acquisitions over the course of 2003-17, comparing the financial and operational differences between those hospitals and hospitals that remained unacquired through 2017. A total of 42 private equity deals occurred, involving 282 unique hospitals across 36 states. In unadjusted analyses, hospitals that were acquired had larger bed sizes, more discharges, and more full-time-equivalent staff positions in 2003 relative to nonacquired hospitals; private equity-acquired hospitals also had higher charge-to-cost ratios and higher operating margins, and this gap widened during our study period. These findings motivate evaluations by policy makers and researchers on the impact, if any, of private equity acquisition on health care access, spending, and risk-adjusted outcomes.
Offodile, AC; Cerullo, M; Bindal, M; Rauh-Hain, JA; Ho, V
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