What We're Reading

Health Policy Journal Club, February 2023

Corporate Investment in Primary Care

The health policy journal club is an interdisciplinary, inter-professional group convened monthly by the Farley Health Policy Center to discuss timely topics in health policy. A curated selection of high-yield articles provides the basis for discussion. Past topics have included income inequality and health, professionalism in medicine, patients as consumers, and adjusting payment for measures of social risk. This page presents the reading list from the most recent journal club.


Emerging trends in the primary care landscape 

  1. Landon BE, Weinreb G, Bitton A. Making sense of new approaches to primary care delivery: a typology of innovations in primary care. NEJM Catalyst. May 9, 2022. 

Corporate investors and primary care  

  1. Ikram U, Aung K, Song Z. Private equity and primary care: lessons from the field. NEJM Catalyst. November 19, 2021. 
  2. Shah S, Rooke-Key H, Fuse Brown EC. Corporate investors in primary care - profits, progress, pitfalls. NEJM. 2023;388:99-101.
  3. MedPAC. Congressional request: Private equity and Medicare. June 2021.
  4. Sachdev R, Scully T, Selig J, Vorhoff R. Private Equity Investors in Primary Care. Primary Care Transformation Summit.  (Can register for free access; this talk is under Day 2, second to last recording).
  5. Ramsey Pflanzer L. Amazon has been trying to break into healthcare for years. Here's a look at everything it's done. February 15, 2023. 

Physician response to a profit-driven system  

  1. Berwick DM. Salve Lucrum: the existential threat of greed in US health care. January 30, 2023. 
  2. Crowley R, Atiq O, Hilden D for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians. Financial profit in medicine: a position paper from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine. October 2021. 
  3. Reinhart E. February 5, 2023. Doctors aren't burned out from overwork. We're demoralized by our health system. The New York Times.


Retail-owned, insurance-owned, and investor-backed approaches to primary care have skyrocketed in the past several years. From 2010-2021, the capital raised for private investment in primary care leapt from $15 million to $16 billion. Amazon recently bought One Medical for $3.9 billion, and CVS Health bought Signify Health for $8 billion (Shah et al). These articles describe the current landscape of these approaches, their potential benefits, and concerns. (Notably, in our journal club discussion of the Landon et al article, participants expressed some disagreement about the typology used and how primary care was defined).  


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