Doctors Concerned About Shift in Management at Several EDs
Over the next few months, emergency medical physician group CEP America will begin managing and staffing emergency departments at several hospitals in the Sacramento region, and some physicians are considering leaving the facilities as a result, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
Details of New ED Management
CEP America provides services at 37 health care provider facilities in California. Four Sutter Health hospitals began contracting with CEP last year.
Last week, CEP announced that it would begin managing and staffing at three Mercy hospital EDs, including:
- Mercy General;
- Mercy San Juan; and
- Methodist Hospital.
CEP will begin providing services at Mercy San Juan and Methodist on Dec. 1 and at Mercy General on Jan. 1, 2013.
Theo Koury, a CEP America vice president, said, "With these three hospitals, we will be adding 166,000 emergency department patients a year to our practice."
Once CEP is providing services at all three of the hospitals, it will have expanded its presence from two hospitals in the Sacramento region in 2011 to nine facilities. Over the same period, rival group Emergency Medicine Physicians will have gone from operating in eight hospitals in the region to operating in one facility.
Dignity Health, parent company of Mercy hospitals, has contracted with CEP to manage and staff EDs at the three hospitals but not formally merge with physicians. The doctors can choose whether they want to continue to work at the facilities.
Physicians Might Leave Hospitals
Michael Osumndson -- COO for EMP's western region -- said, "This is not just a change of the sign at the hospital," adding that more than half of the 34 ED physicians who work at the three Mercy hospitals might choose to leave the hospitals to stay with EMP.
Karen Taranto, local medical group consultant, said that EMP "was local, understood the Sacramento market and provided excellent service."
According to Osumndson, two of Mercy's ED doctors might go to Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, while other physicians are considering moving out of the area.
CEP said that it is actively talking to the physicians but provided no other comment.Melissa Jeu -- spokesperson for Dignity Health -- in an email said, "This is a time of transition for all the physicians involved, and we have to respect that" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.