Private Equity Hospital Acquisitions Linked to Surge in Adverse Events



According to a Medicare Part A claims analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the acquisition of hospitals by private equity firms has been associated with an increase in hospital-acquired adverse events. The study examined hospitalizations between 2009 and 2019 at 51 hospitals that were acquired by private equity firms, comparing them to data from 259 matched control hospitals that were not acquired by private equity. Despite having a pool of lower-risk patients admitted, the private equity-acquired hospitals showed a 25.4% higher rate of hospital-acquired adverse events, including a 27.3% rise in falls, a 37.7% increase in central line-associated infections, and approximately twice as many surgical site infections compared to the control hospitals. Although hospital deaths decreased in the private equity acquired hospitals, the researchers suggested that this may be due to a healthier patient pool or potential patient transfers, raising questions about the overall impact of private equity on mortality rates. The study also highlighted the connection between hospital-acquired adverse events and staffing practices, emphasizing the role of private equity in reducing staffing and altering clinician labor mix, potentially contributing to the observed increase in adverse events.

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Related Practices:   Healthcare Law

Related Attorney:   John D. Fanburg, Edward Hilzenrath

Related Industry:   Healthcare