Private equity acquisitions of physicians' practices associated with healthcare spending spikes

Private equity acquisitions of physician practices are associated with increased healthcare spending and utilization, according to research published in JAMA Network Sept. 2.

Researchers from Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University and Portland-based Oregon Health and Science University analyzed claims data from 578 private-equity-acquired dermatology, gastroenterology and ophthalmology physician practices and 2,874 similar independent practices. 

The researchers found the private-equity-backed physician practices had an average increase of $71 charged per claim and $23 in the allowed amount per claim.

Additionally, the volume of encounters increased by 16.3 percent, and the number of new patients increased by 37.9 percent. 

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