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January 2018

Dermatology Practice Consolidation Fueled by Private Equity Investment: Potential Consequences for the Specialty and Patients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Dermatology, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
  • 2Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(1):13-14. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.5558

In 2 waves during the 1990s and early 2000s, hospitals and large health systems acquired numerous specialty and primary care medical practices across the United States. Many specialties experienced substantial shifts toward employed physicians,1 but as recently as 2014, the majority of dermatologists remained in solo practices (35%) or single-specialty groups (41%).2 While a few dermatology practice groups did pursue strategic consolidations, it seemed that the specialty had deferred some of the controversies inherent in practice acquisition by nonphysicians. In the last 3 to 5 years, however, consolidation of practices fueled by private equity (PE) investments has begun to transform dermatology.

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