Consolidation and corporate investment in medicine are rapidly changing the health care landscape.
The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular, have driven many to question the outsized impact of horizontal consolidation and vertical mergers and acquisitions on emergency physicians and their patients.
Yet there is no question that changes happening today will impact physician lives and livelihoods for years to come.
Through more than 50 years of policies and advocacy, ACEP has fought to protect the autonomy of the emergency physician. But we are hearing from you, our current, former and future members, that ACEP should do more.
More to empower every physician to be able to make the decisions that they believe are in the best interest of their patients and their livelihood. More to uphold employer best practices and level the playing field for physicians who deserve due process, transparency in billing and fair compensation. More to stand up for and fight for what we believe in.
Over the past year and through our new strategic plan, your ACEP leaders have taken several bold steps to show that we hear you and will increase our fight for you.
Protecting Emergency Physician Autonomy
Forces outside of the ED continue to have a profound impact on patient care and practice management. ACEP is standing firm to uphold employer best practices and advocate for due process, transparency and the sanctity of the physician-patient relationship.
Fighting for your autonomy is one of the ways ACEP has your back.
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reaffirmed its commitment to working closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review and update the agencies’ merger guidance, particularly around vertical consolidation.
When the FTC opened its public comment period, ACEP staff were urged by the FTC to comment on behalf of its members. ACEP gathered more than 100 member stories about the impact of consolidation on their ability to do their jobs.
These stories were combined to illustrate patterns and serve as a backdrop for our recommendations in a formal comment letter sent to the FTC on April 20, 2022 harnessing the clout of ACEP’s voice.
ACEP President Dr. Gillian Schmitz and ACEP Executive Director Sue Sedory also shared a preview of some of the collected stories during the FTC's "Listening Forum on Firsthand Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions: Health Care" on April 14, 2022.
ACEP strongly supports legislation under discussion in Congress that would uphold due process protections for physicians. Specifically, this legislation would enable physicians to avoid a mandatory waiver of due process rights, which many are forced to comply with as a condition of group employment.
ACEP is leading conversations with Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other agencies to make sure that the federal officials keeping a keen eye on provider and insurer consolidation understand emergency physicians’ concerns about the impact of consolidation on systemic issues and costs, reimbursement, and patient care.
For the June 8, 2023 hearing, “Consolidation and Corporate Ownership in Health Care: Trends and Impacts on Access, Quality, and Costs,” ACEP submitted a statement for the record detailing concerns about how consolidation within the health care sector affects emergency physicians and patients.