What does it mean for patients?

Private equity takes over health care: What does it mean for patients?

Private equity firms have shelled out almost $1 trillion to acquire health care businesses in deals almost always hidden from regulators. The result: higher prices, lawsuits and complaints about care.

Fred Schulte

Kaiser Health News

Two-year-old Zion Gastelum died just days after dentists performed root canals and put crowns on six baby teeth at a clinic affiliated with a private equity firm.

His parents sued the Kool Smiles dental clinic in Yuma, Arizona, and its private equity investor, FFL Partners. They argued the procedures were done needlessly, in keeping with a corporate strategy to maximize profits by overtreating kids from lower-income families enrolled in Medicaid. Zion died after being diagnosed with “brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen,” according to the lawsuit.

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