The otolaryngologist must consider, above all, whether there will be any potential negative impacts on patient care and professional behavior that cannot be tolerated. —G. Richard Holt, MD
Explore This IssueJanuary 2020
“The buyers will say patient care is the return on investment, but I’m not so sure private equity in medicine is a good thing,” Fanburg said. “I think the jury is still out, and this needs to be analyzed and scrutinized as private equity proliferates in the healthcare field.”
Given the complexity of these arrangements, Dr. Holt emphasized that, along with the advisors mentioned above by Fanburg, otolaryngologists should seek counsel from someone with knowledge about the potential threats to patient care and professional ethics.
Dr. Setzen agreed. “I think it is important that the practice also performs a thorough evaluation of the private equity firm with whom they are considering partnering in order to make sure that the culture, history, and business practices of the firm are sound and ethical,” he said.
For otolaryngology practices, whether or not private equity investment will be a good model to follow is unknown. “This is pretty new to the ENT space, and I don’t know if we have enough experience with private equity in ENT to really know how it will work,” said Kilgore. “Time will tell what kind of success it will have in ENT practices.”
Mary Beth Nierengarten is a freelance medical writer based in Minnesota.