Private equity's healthcare boom: 10 stats to know

COVID-19 has accelerated private equity's growth in healthcare.

Here are 10 stats to know:

1. By January 2021, 69 percent of physicians were employed by hospitals or corporate entities like private equity firms and health insurers, according to a study from the nonprofit Physicians Advocacy Institute and healthcare consulting firm Avalere.

2. Most practices acquired and funded by private equity firms from 2000 to 2020 were in the South, according to a cross-sectional study published in JAMA Surgery.

3. The number of surgical services and facilities funded and acquired by private equity firms has increased over the last 20 years, according to the same JAMA Surgery study. 

4. In the second quarter of 2021, private equity firms were the buyers in 63 percent of the deals, according to a Bass Berry & Sims report published in JDSupra, a legal analysis publication. 

5. Thirteen percent of the deals were in high-demand practices such as dental, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and obstetrics and gynecology, according to the same JD Supra report. 

6. Since 2006, private equity firms have invested $921 billion in U.S. healthcare, according to the American Investment Council. 

7. Private equity firms own 4 percent of U.S. hospitals and 11 percent of nursing homes, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Council. 

8. As private equity firms continue to buy up hospitals, a November Health Affairs study found hospitals acquired by private equity firms were more likely to add profitable hospital service lines than nonacquired hospitals. 

9. At least 10 private equity-backed healthcare providers in the U.S. will go public in 2022, up from six in 2021, according to data company Pitchbook's report released Dec. 16. 

10. When transported by a private equity-owned or publicly traded air ambulance, patients had a 55 percent chance of receiving a surprise out-of-network balance bill of $26,507 on average in 2017, a white paper by USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy found.

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