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Private-equity firms are buying doctor’s offices across the U.S. — and critics say profits are coming before patients

Your physician has become big business. And patient advocates say you should be worried.

Even if the waiting room, staff and doctor herself look exactly the same as in the past, medical practices of all kinds are increasingly being snapped up by larger groups, hospital systems and even health-insurance companies.

Lately, those buyers aren’t even from the health-care world. In a growing and powerful trend, private-equity and venture-capital groups have been swooping in with ever larger offers for all kinds of doctor’s practices.

They offer to handle practices’ business affairs and their complex regulatory requirements, leaving doctors to practice medicine.

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