Consolidation is happening all throughout the healthcare industry in the United States, but the shift to consolidation in dermatology began to pick up speed in just the last 3 to 5 years and it has been driven by private investors, according to a new Viewpoint in JAMA Dermatology.

Author Jack S. Resneck Jr, MD, of the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, explained that as of 2014, approximately three-fourths of dermatologists remained in solo practices or single-specialty groups, but that dermatologists accounted for 15% of recent practice acquisitions by private equity (PE) firms.

“Several factors draw external investors to dermatology, including high patient demand, an ongoing skin cancer epidemic, an aging population, the shortage of dermatologists, expanded insurance coverage, and perceived opportunities to expand cosmetic services, add nonphysician clinicians, and profit from internal redirection of ancillary laboratory services or procedural referrals,” Resneck wrote.