May 2025: Private Equity in Health Care

Private equity differs from other for-profit investments by aiming to maximize profitability while minimizing long-term holdings in such investments. Valuation for private equity acquisitions in health care has grown to over 150 billion dollars since 2020, and expansion continues. In the health sector, private equity has both clinical and ethical implications that deserve our close attention. One reason is that private equity firms are, generally, not interested in managing patient panels, clinician personnel, or service delivery streams. Another reason is that influx of private equity investment in health care tends to consolidate markets for health care services, undermining competition among health care organizations and escalating prices. Antitrust concerns are also clear and numerous. Despite that patients rarely benefit from private equity investment in health care, especially over the long-term, many clinicians and health care organizations sell their practices, health service delivery streams, and other key assets without seeming consideration for hyper-consolidation risk or compromised stewardship. This theme issue considers which criteria should be used to determine whether, when, and for whom buying and selling of private equity in health care stands up to ethical and legal scrutiny and considers how to better guide and regulate private equity in health care.

We invite manuscripts for this May 2025 issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® that consider how clinicians and organizations should respond to lucrative incentives to sell to private equity entities, canvass long-term effects and implications of private equity-driven market shifts in health care organizational governance and professional self-regulation and propose how policy priorities should be made and by whom.

The manuscript submission deadline has passed.

The AMA Journal of Ethics® invites original, English-language contributions for peer review consideration on the upcoming themes.