facebook New report: Profits grow and patients suffer when private equity takes over

BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

New report: Profits grow and patients suffer when private equity takes over

Private equity investors are penetrating every corner of U.S. health care, and in some cases risking the lives of patients, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

Aveanna Healthcare LLC was created through a series of corporate takeovers with the goal of maximizing profits while providing quality at-home nursing care for the sick and disabled, mostly children who need around-the-clock care.

In the article, Bloomberg News reports that the result has been devastating. At least seven children have died in Texas, Pennsylvania and Colorado. In these incidents, health officials found that Aveanna’s nurses failed to check vital signs, follow emergency procedures, appear for their shifts or give the proper doses of medicine.

More than 1,000 pages of state health care documents reviewed by Bloomberg reporters show Aveanna has had a disproportionate number of safety violations.

“It is a game they play with our kids’ lives,” said one mother, who hires Aveanna to care for her 6-year-old son. “And it is really about how they can make more money.”

Bloomberg reports that internal company documents suggest financial incentives at Aveanna favor corporate growth and cost-cutting over clinical care. More than a dozen former employees described the pressure to meet financial goals and how it jeopardized the quality of care for children.

While private investors have saved some failing businesses and industries, the American Medical Association is scrutinizing these health-related acquisitions because of concern that patient care might get shortchanged.

Have you experienced lesser care after an institution you rely on was acquired by a private-equity firm? Share your story.