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Private equity firms and their impact on private practices: A deep dive

Equity firms are buying out private medical providers at record rates. We surveyed over 610 people and 360 practitioners about the impact on healthcare.

In today’s rapidly changing healthcare landscape, private equity firms are making waves with their aggressive acquisition strategies that target private practice physicians. To learn more about how these takeovers affect medical professionals and their patients, we surveyed over 610 Americans and 360 medical practitioners about hospital systems and private care practices. 

Here are some of our key takeaways:

  • 53% of hospital system employees and 44% of private practice owners and employees feel burnt out.
  • The top challenges of working in a hospital system are:
    • High levels of stress and burnout (45%)
    • Limited resources and staff shortages (41%)
    • Emotional and mental fatigue (40%)
    • Difficult patients and families (37%)
    • Heavy workloads and long hours (36%)
  • The top challenges of working in private practice are:
    • Difficult patients and families (42%)
    • High levels of stress and burnout (37%)
    • Emotional and mental fatigue (30%)
    • Heavy workloads and long hours (29%)
    • Lack of work-life balance (25%)
  • 60% of hospital system employees say they need additional support with staff recruitment and retention, compared to 48% of private practice owners and employees.
  • Only 56% of hospital system employees feel appreciated, compared to 73% of private practice owners and employees.
  • 42% of hospital system employees are considering switching to private practice, mostly due to the need for a better work-life balance.
  • 35% of private practice owners and employees are considering switching to a hospital system, primarily due to the higher earning potential.

Let’s take a closer look at what we found.


Empowering healthcare dynamics

Americans have differing perceptions about hospital systems and healthcare providers — and the differences vary by generation.

  • 56% of Americans with health insurance feel controlled by their health insurance. By generation, this includes:
    • 63% of Baby Boomers
    • 58% of Gen X
    • 55% of Millennials
    • 46% of Gen Z
  • 22% of Americans don’t feel free to choose healthcare providers.
  • Most Americans prefer to visit a private practice over a hospital system for everything except their primary care physician, for which 63% prefer a hospital system.
  • Regarding healthcare costs:
    • 50% of Americans believe private practice providers are more expensive than hospital system providers.
    • 14% believe hospital system providers are more expensive.
    • 36% believe they are equally expensive.
  • 75% of Baby Boomers say knowing whether your healthcare provider is part of a private practice or hospital system is important. 

Over half of Americans feel controlled by their health insurance, and private practice acquisitions could further limit their options. Acquisitions might also limit private practice providers by forcing them to incorporate into hospital systems where medical professionals suffer more burnout and feel less appreciated. As the healthcare industry continues to experience change, providers of all practice types will need to work together to ensure broad access to quality patient care.


Tebra surveyed 360 medical practitioners about the differences between working at a private practice versus in a hospital system. Among survey participants, 49% worked in a hospital system, 33% worked at a private practice, and 18% worked elsewhere. We also surveyed 610 Americans about their healthcare preferences. The generational breakdown was: 12% Gen Z, 53% Millennials, 23% Gen X, and 12% Baby Boomers.

About Tebra

Tebra is a complete operating system offering seamless support for medical practitioners, providers, and patients. From billing and growth solutions to data and patient experience, Tebra combines all the right elements to support medical success.

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Are you concerned about the effects of private practice acquisitions? Feel free to share this article for noncommercial purposes, but you must provide a link to this page so readers can access our full findings and methodology.

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Written by

Jean Lee , Managing Editor at The Intake

Jean Lee is a content expert with years of journalism and marketing experience — along with a constant passion to help and engage others through storytelling. She is the managing editor at The Intake, where independent practices can go to access content, insights, and resources that help them thrive.

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