5 numbers on how private equity affects patient care

Private equity is a growing force in the financial side of the ASC industry, but how does it affect clinical practice?

Here are five statistics on how private equity affects patient care:

1. A study published Dec. 26 in JAMA found that patients at private equity-associated hospitals had 25.4% more hospital-acquired conditions; that number primarily was driven by falls and central line-associated bloodstream infections.

2. In a recent survey from NORC at the University of Chicago, nearly 60% of physicians said nonphysician ownership of practices results in a lower quality of patient care.

3. In the same survey, 18% of respondents said corporate ownership of medical practices has improved care quality. 

4. Employed physicians surveyed by University of Chicago said corporate ownership lessens their clinical autonomy, with 61% saying they have moderate or no autonomy to make referrals outside of their practice or ownership system, and 47% saying there are policies or financial incentives in place to adjust patients' treatment options to reduce costs.

5. Nearly half of physicians (45%) surveyed by the University of Chicago said ownership changes worsened their patient relationships due to a decrease in time per patient and communication. Seventy percent said their employer used incentives to get them to see more patients.

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