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AAEM Statement on USACS Replacement at Summa Health

Posted Friday, January 20th, 2017

AAEM Members,

By now most of you have heard about Akron-based Summa Emergency Associates (Akron City Hospital EM Residency) and their sudden termination and replacement by US Acute Care Solutions at all of the Summa Health System EDs. This literally overnight transition to a new group of physicians most of whom, to the best of our understanding, are unfamiliar with the hospitals, the EDs, their staffs, the EMS systems and the EMR/CPOE, creates a potential  patient safety issue in the short term. The displaced group is physician owned and has been in existence for 40 years.

As you know it is a major concern of the AAEM to preserve physician owned practices in EM. The new group, USACS, while having physician ownership, also has a major private equity partner which creates lay influence over their operations, something the AAEM is opposed to. Although the state of Ohio recently nullified its prohibitions on the corporate practice of medicine, AAEM remains concerned when lay corporations have an ownership stake in an EM practice. Additionally, this summary termination of over 60 EM physicians clearly violates physician practice rights delineated in the AAEM, AMA and ACEP policies on due process.

The AAEM mission statement and those of other EM organizations supports residency education and unfortunately an EM residency is caught up in this business matter. The Summa Emergency Medicine residency program has lost its leadership and academic faculty, disrupting established mentoring and teaching relationships right in the midst of resident recruitment season. This is distressing to the current residents and this event will impact the future of this program.

AAEM has been in contact with the SEA Leadership and are collaborating on the best options to address this situation. Please let us know if you have specific ideas or input regarding this distressing state of affairs.

AAEM Board of Directors
AAEM Past-Presidents Council
info@aaem.org