AAEM-PG Files Suit Against Envision Healthcare Alleging the Illegal Corporate Practice of Medicine in California

CALAAEM News Service calaaem.news.service at gmail.com
Mon Dec 20 15:00:54 PST 2021


Dec. 20, 2021

AAEM-PG Files Suit Against Envision Healthcare Alleging the Illegal
Corporate Practice of Medicine in California


December 20, 2021



MILWAUKEE — The American Academy of Emergency Medicine Physician Group
zEr8hsehMhuv5S8x4CiSLw~~> ) filed suit in the Superior Court of California
against Envision Healthcare Corporation. AAEM-PG is responding to the
takeover of an emergency department contract at Placentia Linda Hospital,
part of the Tenet system.


AAEM-PG alleges that Envision, as a lay entity owned by the private equity
firm Kravis, Kohlberg and Roberts, is in violation of the CA prohibitions on
lay ownership of medical practices as embodied in the Business and
Professions Code §§ 2400 and 2052.


Issues at stake include lay influence over the patient-physician
relationship, as well as control of the fees charged, prohibited
remuneration for referrals, and unfair restraint of the practice of a
profession. AAEM-PG and its parent organization, the American Academy of
Emergency Medicine, believes this arrangement is not in the public interest.


AAEM advocates that physician groups comprised of local physician owners
provide the highest level of care and are most invested in the long-term
success of their hospital partners and community.


“A physician’s first duty is to the patient,” says AAEM-PG Chief Medical
Officer, Robert McNamara, MD. “This duty is heightened in the emergency
department where physicians care for society’s most vulnerable patients.
Corporations who owe their first duty to the investors have no place at the
bedside. Doctors must be free to treat each patient without the pressure to
maximize profits.” 


AAEM President Lisa A. Moreno, MD MS MSCR FAAEM FIFEM adds: “Emergency
department patients are the most vulnerable patients. Either they are
experiencing the sudden onset of frightening symptoms and present with an as
yet undiagnosed illness, or they are presenting with exacerbation of known
illness secondary to lack of access to primary care, inability to afford
medications, lack of insurance or lower health literacy. Such patients
deserve treatment by a board certified emergency physician whose fiduciary
duty is to place the patient’s medical needs above all else, and not by a
private equity or lay corporation whose fiduciary duty is to place profit
before the patient.   The AAEM Mission Statement clearly defines the right
of every patient with an emergency condition to be treated by a board
certified emergency physician and further endorses the fact that every
medical team must be led by a board certified physician and not by a private
equity or lay corporation. These entities have no role in the care of the
emergency patient, nor do they have the right to intrude upon the sanctity
of the physician-patient relationship. For them to do so is unjust and
unsafe for the patient population.”


San Francisco lawyer David Millstein, who represents AAEM-PG in the suit,
said: "This suit seeks to end Envision’s illegal corporate practice of
Medicine in the State of California. It requests the Court to prevent
Envision from using captive medical groups, restrictive covenants in
physician contracts, payment of consideration to acquire ED contracts,
control over staffing, billing and payor contracts and similar practices
which violate California’s Corporate Practice of Medicine prohibition as
well as other laws.”

How You Can Support This Initiative


We established the AAEM Foundation for the purposes of studying and
providing education relating to the access and availability of emergency
medical care, and defending the rights of patients to receive such care as
well as the emergency physicians to provide it. This includes providing
financial support for litigation to further these objectives, specifically
in cases involving physician practice rights and cases involving a broad
public interest.

The AAEM Foundation is funding this initiative to protect the
physician-patient relationship so you can provide the highest quality of
care for your patients.


Your donation today is an investment your rights as an emergency physician
and in the future of patient care.


zEr8hsehMhuv5S8x4CiSLw~~> Donate Now


Contributions to the AAEM Foundation are tax deductible.




Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service


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