A medical profession once defined by solo offices and small partnerships is now dominated by corporate practices and hospital-owned clinics. (Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) –Private investors, retailers and health insurers are pumping billions of dollars into primary-care ventures in a reversal that’s turned one of American medicine’s least-lucrative practice areas into a hot spot.

U.S. companies focused on primary care raised about $16 billion from investors in 2021, according to unpublished research by Harvard scholars. That’s more than four times the amount invested in 2020 and up from just $15 million reported in 2010, they said. The researchers tallied private investment, strategic acquisitions and public-market debuts of primary-care companies in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article.

 

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