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Why Private Equity in Healthcare is Receiving Closer Scrutiny by Journalists and Government

Why Private Equity in Healthcare is Receiving Closer Scrutiny by Journalists and Government

Many recent stories do not portray the private equity model in a favorable light.  Critics of private equity argue that the new owners often prioritize maximizing revenue over providing quality patient care. They may cut corners or try to pressure physicians to squeeze more patients into an already busy workday to maintain the income stream.  Defenders of the private equity model argue that these purchases can help medical practices improve efficiency through economies of scale, secure better contracts through increased bargaining power with insurance companies, and gain capital for purchasing new technology that enables them to practice more efficient medicine.  PE ownership of a practice does not necessarily mean that it will provide bad healthcare; some do a very good job.  Paul Hsieh, Forbes, July 31, 2023

AOP Response: We are acutely aware of the downside of private equity in healthcare. AOP does not rely on back-office economies of scale (which are minor) nor on leveraging higher fees from payors (which are difficult to achieve without reliable data backing up claims of superior clinical outcomes or reduced costs). Our core value to partner practices is to foster more rapid growth in terms of adding new physicians; establishing additional locations; adding new services, modalities, and equipment; purchasing or developing ASCs; bundling common procedures for employers; and proactively dealing with managed care. Our private equity partner (StonePoint) understands the challenges associated with PE well and has adopted a long-term view of our performance.  

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