Private Equity’s Growing Role in Healthcare Threatens Stability and Sustainability in Massachusetts

Legislators focus on private equity’s role in health care following Steward Healthcare’s challenges

The healthcare industry in Massachusetts is facing financial challenges due to the growing role of private equity. According to officials, the presence of private equity in healthcare transactions has more than doubled in recent years. This trend is expected to continue as industry consolidation, for-profit ownership, and private equity investment continue to shape the healthcare landscape in the state.

The Health Policy Commission (HPC) has been monitoring this trend, revealing that private equity was involved in 63 percent of healthcare transactions between 2020 and 2023. This data raises concerns about the impact of private equity on the healthcare system and the need for regulatory oversight.

HPC Executive Director David Seltz emphasized the importance of addressing these issues to prevent future crises like the one facing Steward Health Care. He stressed that urgent action is needed to ensure the stability and sustainability of the healthcare system in Massachusetts. Legislative leaders have tasked the HPC with investigating regulatory gaps and proposing policy changes to address the challenges faced by healthcare providers.

A recent transaction where Medical Properties Trust acquired Steward’s Massachusetts properties without notifying HPC highlights the need for stronger regulatory oversight. As discussions continue, it is clear that the healthcare industry in Massachusetts is at a critical juncture, with the future influenced by private equity interests and the need for comprehensive regulatory reform.

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