Patient Safety | 02.28.23
ERs Staffed by Private Equity Firms Aim to Cut Costs by Hiring Fewer Doctors
by National Public Radio
Some emergency rooms (ERs) are outsourcing their operations to private equity-owned medical staffing firms such as American Physician Partners, which employs fewer doctors in its ERs as one of its cost-saving initiatives to boost earnings, according to a confidential company document obtained by Kaiser Health News (KHN) and National Public Radio (NPR). ER doctors increasingly are being replaced by nurse practitioners and physician assistants, collectively known as "midlevel practitioners," who can perform many of the same duties and generate much of the same revenue for less than half the pay. In a statement to KHN, American Physician Partners said this strategy is a way to ensure all ERs remain fully staffed, calling it a "blended model" that allows doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants "to provide care to their fullest potential."