Private Equity and the Corporatization of Health Care


Erin C. Fuse Brown

Date of Event



Private equity investment in physician services has become a driving force in the financialization of health care. While private equity investors seek quick revenue generation from health services organizations, they challenge the professional and ethical norms that distinguish medical providers from profit-seeking businesses. Their practices threaten to increase costs, lower health care quality and contribute to physician burnout and moral distress. An example of how private equity investors exploit market dysfunctions or regulatory loopholes is the practice known as “surprise medical billing.” This occurs when a patient receives care at an in-network facility from an unexpectedly out-of-network provider. The resulting medical bills force insurers to pay more and expose innocent patients to sometimes crippling financial debt. The federal No Surprises Act outlawed some forms of this phenomenon but did not completely eliminate the problem.

Erin Fuse Brown’s lecture will discuss the trend of private equity investment in physician services and the legal tools available under federal and state law to address the threats presented by health care financialization. She will also analyze how loopholes and market distortions should be addressed through new legislative and regulatory interventions.

Speaker Biography

Erin C. Fuse Brown, J.D., M.P.H., is the Catherine C. Henson Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society at Georgia State University College of Law. She specializes in health law and policy, and her research focuses on health care markets, consolidation, and cost-control. Fuse Brown has published articles in leading legal, health policy and medical journals about private equity investment, health care prices, payment reform, medical billing and debt collection, health care competition and consolidation, surprise medical billing and health reform. She has consulted with NASHP, Milbank Memorial Fund, Catalyst for Payment Reform and others on legal and policy strategies to protect health care consumers, control health care costs, and address health care consolidation. She received a JD from Georgetown, an MPH from Johns Hopkins and a BA from Dartmouth College.

Lecture Series

Cyberspace Law and Policy Center

Subject Headings

private equity and health care; corporatization of health care


Law School Moot Courtroom (A59) and Virtual

Document Type