No doubt many of you have heard of the recent failed negotiations between Summa Health of Akron, Ohio, and its longstanding emergency medicine group, Summa Emergency Associates (SEA). Some of you followed it closely and may have a firm opinion of how the events unfolded. Though our company has been largely caught in the middle, the issues raised in the aftermath loom large over healthcare.
These issues deserve a reasoned and substantive discussion. We work in a difficult industry amid massive change. Payers and health systems continue to consolidate rapidly. The challenges of healthcare delivery in this country cannot be solved by one group, one hospital, or one industry association. Reasonable people will disagree on the way forward. Regardless of the disagreements, however, all emergency clinicians endeavor to put patients first. We are no exception to this rule.
The USACS mission is as follows: To care for patients. That’s it. Simple, straightforward, and at the heart of every decision we make. Our core values are a servant’s heart and an owner’s mind.
So when negotiations at Summa broke down, USACS stepped up. Dozens of physicians, APPs and support staff cut vacations short, worked through the holidays, and picked up shifts to ensure every patient that came through the door was seen and treated by a board-certified emergency physician. That’s what physician owners do for their patients and each other.
USACS is a group made up of nine independent, physician-owned emergency medicine groups committed to the principle that the best patient care and the best hospital partnerships result when physicians maintain ownership and leadership of their group.
Amid rapidly increasing consolidation amongst payers and health systems, we believe all independent physician groups face a choice: Continue to take your chances as a small, independent group; sell out to a big, publicly- traded or investor-owned corporation and lose your leadership voice; or do what we did–join together with other like-minded groups to preserve your commitment to physician ownership and physician-directed patient care. That is the core of our strategy at USACS. Furthermore, we manage (either primarily or secondarily) 10 EM residency programs, and our commitment to graduate medical education is longstanding and unwavering. These are the principles we bring to Summa Health and many other hospital systems across the country.
Our commitment to physician ownership allows us to continue to grow and compete in an environment where the only constant is change. Our culture ensures that we always remain focused on why we’re here in the first place: When the call comes to care for patients, we rise to the occasion. That’s what emergency medicine physicians do.
On behalf of the 1,956 physician owners and the 1,108 advanced practice providers of US Acute Care Solutions,
Dominic J. Bagnoli, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Chief Executive Officer, US Acute Care Solutions
Own your future now.
Call Travis Ulmer, MD, FACEP at 1-800-828-0898. TUlmer@usacs.com