Who is acquiring the vast majority of physician practices?

Private equity has been the largest acquirer of private physician practices over the last five years, according to 2023 data from the American Hospital Association.

Between 2019 and 2023, 65 percent of acquired physician practices were acquired by private equity. The second-most prolific acquirers were physician medical groups, which acquired 14 percent of private practices. 

Health insurers, including UnitedHealthcare and its subsidiary Optum, the largest employer of physicians nationwide, acquired 11 percent of practices. 

Hospital and health systems acquired about 6 percent of practices, while 4 percent were acquired by other services. 

In 2023, insurer CVS Health acquired Chicago-based Oak Street Health and Dallas-based Signify Health in deals valued at nearly $20 billion total. UHC and Optum recently acquired Middletown, N.Y.-based Crystal Run Healthcare, Houston-based Kelsey-Seybold Clinic and Newton, Mass.-based Atrius Health

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