The effect of private equity in medicine

The landscape of health care has changed nearly beyond recognition in the past decade. If you’re a veteran of the profession, you’ve seen the other side of things — you once had the chance to live the dream, to swim in the pool of autonomy and self-employment, to call the shots and act on behalf of the patient without the constant supervision of bureaucracy. If you are new to the profession, maybe you missed the slow change in our profession that brought us to this point and don’t really know the difference. I began practicing somewhere in between these two categories and have experienced just enough of both environments to see that change — at least when it comes to health care — has not been for the better.

I’ve practiced in several settings now, and consistently, in every setting, I’ve watched the line between acting in the interest of patients versus acting in the interest of finances become increasingly blurred. The slow, gradual increase of private equity, hospital oversight, and government intervention has changed the criteria by which our success is measured.

But it’s not so gradual anymore. Humana (a for-profit insurance company) just announced their acquisition of Family Physicians Group, one of the largest providers to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries in central Florida.

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