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Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Private equity giant KKR has floated a private buyout of Quorum Health, a 24-hospital system that operates in rural and small suburban communities, for about $30 million, or $1 per share. Quorum executives said they would "carefully consider" any deal.

Where it stands: Private equity has increasingly bought up hospital chains, doctors' groups, and ground and air ambulance companies due in large part to those firms' inherent market power. KKR, for example, just took physician staffing firm Envision Healthcare private for $10 billion last year.

Private equity has shown particular interest in publicly traded hospital systems — most recently with major deals for LifePoint Health and Iasis Healthcare.

By the numbers: Quorum, a group of hospitals that Community Health Systems spun out in 2016, has lost $446 million since 2017.

  • The company has struggled with high interest expenses from its debt, as well as a drop in hospitalizations and surgeries.

Yes, but: Quorum still generates $1.6 billion of revenue every year by owning hospitals that have monopoly or near-monopoly power in their markets.

  • That concept is attractive to any investment group willing to take on risk. But that raises questions about costs and quality for patients, and what the future holds if private equity decides to abandon a hospital.
  • Quorum executives also hinted during its latest earnings call that its hospitals will be more aggressive in collecting payments from health insurers and patients starting next year.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress sprints to meet crush of deadlines

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Congressional leaders have been pushing off vital action for months — and a lot of it will catch up with them in December, which begins Wednesday.

Driving the news: Funding for the federal government is set to expire at midnight on Friday. There are also consequential deadlines related to the debt limit, President Biden's agenda and annual actions like voting on the National Defense Authorization Act.