This observational study in The Lancet Public Health analysed the effects of outsourcing health services to private, for-profit providers. The authors evaluated the impact of outsourced spending to private providers on treatable mortality rates and the quality of healthcare services in England, following the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.
The authors found that:
- an annual increase of one percentage point of outsourcing to the private for-profit sector corresponded with an annual increase in treatable mortality of 0·38% in the following year.
- changes to for-profit outsourcing since 2014 were associated with an additional 557 treatable deaths across the 173 CCGs in England.
They conclude that private sector outsourcing corresponded with significantly increased rates of treatable mortality, potentially as a result of a decline in the quality of health-care services.