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Private Equity Takeover of Emergency Care = Moral Hazard

Three activist physicians fighting to wrest the harmful control of emergency departments from private equity offer their heartfelt perspectives in this excellent short video.

March 21, 2024

“I’m A Doctor: Corporate Greed Is Killing Your ER”
12-minute video
YouTube – More Perfect Union
March 18, 2024

The following are random quotes from physicians in this video:

> When we could no longer actually take care of the patients the way we would want our grandmothers treated, that’s when we started having problems.”

> Physicians are experiencing burnout and moral injury at unprecedented rates.

> We have this kind of sacred relationship with patients, and we take an oath to take care of patients. And I think that that really is at odds with the goals of a corporation.

> They’re not usually in it for the long term (the equity firm). They’re not thinking about “how do we improve this business long term? They think about “How do we make things look better in the short term so we can sell it to somebody else?”

> In the old group, we were allowed to see what was billed and coded under our names. In this new group, we were not allowed to see any of the billing.

> This is often how they approach the legislature to say we’re going to innovate! Well, they innovate how to make more money for themselves. They don’t really innovate anything that’s actually helping with society because their secret sauce was gouging patients without any transparency in what’s billed or collected by the physicians. 

> A common theme across comments is that growing financialization in the healthcare industry can force medical professionals to subordinate their medical judgement to corporate decision makers and profit motives at the expense of patient health. 

> The fact that investors or companies are coming into this place, that is just for patients, right? It’s just for people who are in trouble or are scared or dying to come into that space and to say, how can we make money here? Feels to me unholy. It should just be a public utility, just like you should be able to have access to safe drinking water. You should be able to have access to electricity like you should be able to have access to good emergency care whenever you need it.


Comment by: Don McCanne

Although the private equity encroachment on medicine is receiving appropriate publicity these days, this compelling video will help you build the case in your mind as to why we have to end this phenomenon. We must replace the private equity takeover with the system which those of us who chose health care as a career thought we were entering – a universal, affordable, accessible, equitable system that places the patient above all else. We know that this system is attainable through the single payer model. Share the video with a friend, too.

No more corporate greed when we know that is not the route to patient health.

About the Commentator, Don McCanne

Don McCanne is a retired family practitioner who dedicated the 2nd phase of his career to speaking and writing extensively on single payer and related issues. He served as Physicians for a National Health Program president in 2002 and 2003, then as Senior Health Policy Fellow. For two decades, Don wrote "Quote of the Day", a daily health policy update which inspired HJM.

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