JAMA Original Investigation Article

Journal of the American Medical Association, December 26,2023

Data from 100% Medicare Part A claims for 662,095 hospitalizations at 51 private equity-acquired hospitals were compared with data for 4,160,720 hospitalizations at 259 matched control hospitals for hospital stays between 2009 and 2019. Hospital-acquired events were compared for three years before private equity acquisition and three years after acquisition.

What’s Interesting about this article?

  • Hospital- acquired adverse events included falls, infections and other adverse events as defined by the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Private equity acquisition was associated with increased falls, central line-associated bloodstream infections and surgical site infections.
  • A small decrease in in-hospital mortality at private equity hospitals may be explained by a case shift to younger Medicare beneficiaries and increased transfers to other hospitals.

JournalDoc Comments:

  • This is an impressive study by doctors from the Massachusetts General Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the US.
  • In the past, US hospitals were urged to become more “business-like” to decrease health care costs. The findings in this article raise significant concerns that this transition may decrease the quality of care and  patient outcomes.
  • It is not clear whether the increase in falls and hospital-acquired infections were related to reduced staffing or other cost-cutting measures employed to increase profitability.


Disclaimer:  Article of the Week selections by JournalDoc physicians are independent, unbiased and have no commercial conflict of interest. JournalDoc does not support or endorse the findings or opinions expressed in the article. Findings in the article may need to be supported by further research and/or the consensus of experts.