American Physician Partners (APP) recently announced they are ceasing business operations by the end of the month. Their announcement on July 17th gives hospitals and physicians only two weeks to ensure continued care for patients. This is reckless, unethical, and simply dangerous. This is one more example of the untoward effects of private equity backed corporate medical groups on health care. Health care is not the same as every other business and a patient is not a widget. Doctors understand this, obviously APP did not.
The American Academy of Emergency Medicine stands with every physician and patient affected at this difficult time. Specifically:
AAEM demands that APP honor all contracts with physicians currently in effect and expects prompt payment of all monies due, continued coverage of malpractice insurance including tail, and honesty in all dealings. While AAEM does not employ a legal team, our Legal Committee stands ready to help as needed.
AAEM and AAEM/RSA support all residents, especially residents training at APP administered sites during this difficult time. We will work with hospitals and residency programs to first help smooth the transition process and then use this change to improve resident education. One small measure to that end is AAEM will pay the RSA membership dues for any resident at an APP site. If you are not a member, join now for free.
The Locum Tenens Section of AAEM (LT-AAEM) is ready to advise and assist any physicians needing to transition temporarily or permanently to a Locums practice model.
The AAEM-Physician Group (AAEM-PG) is ready to assist physicians in establishing new independent democratic groups. We have all of the resources that physicians need to start an independent group. This includes practice management, revenue cycle management, financing advice, and help negotiating with hospital CEOs. Please contact us with questions.
In my capacity as President, I have already discussed this situation with policymakers in Washington, D.C., including the Federal Trade Commission, as well as with multiple national and local journalists. The entire AAEM Board and I will continue to advocate for all emergency physicians and patients. Our Academy maintains the highest ethical standards and will never waver in our fight to save the ethical practice of emergency medicine.
If you have been affected by the recent developments with APP, we are here for you. While membership growth fuels our efforts, at this critical moment, we are ready to serve all affected EM physicians as best as we can, member or not. Why? Because AAEM is the Champion of the Emergency Physician.
Please reach out.
Jonathan S. Jones, MD FAAEM
President of American Academy of Emergency Medicine