December 2, 2021

DGP Section Meeting at ACEP21

Chris Ross, MD, FACEP
Secretary/Newsletter Editor

Big thanks to everyone able to join us in Boston this year! It was great meeting everyone in person (finally) for our annual ACEP DGP section meeting. The whole event was packed with important information and will undoubtedly parlay into another successful 2021-2022 year for the section. For those unable to attend, here is a quick summary of what all went down:

To start us off, Jamie Shoemaker, our board representative and fellow democratic group member, gave the ACEP leadership update highlighting several changes over the past year that highly impact us as small democratic groups. The breaking news was resolution of ACEPs outstanding lawsuit with Anthem regarding Prudent Lay Person Standard (PLP) issues in Georgia. The settlement came in our favor and hopefully could serve as precedent for further PLP issues with payors. Updates on the No Surprises act were less positive however. Rate-setting benefitting the payors still seems to be what’s on the table according to the law as written. This is undoubtedly a fluid issue with much more to come. Regarding issues within ACEP, further progress with the workforce study and ED Accreditation Task Force were the highlights. To close his part of the meeting, he highlighted the exciting upcoming EM Group Academy, which should be a fantastic opportunity coming up in Nov 2022 for leaders and aspiring leaders of independent groups to learn the business of running a successful group.  Many of the DGP Section Members will be faculty. 

Dave Hall, our ACEP councilor, weighed in with a summary of the Council as it impacted us as democratic groups this year. Dave was excited to announce that our own Rami Khoury was elected to ACEP Board of Directors on the first ballot. Congratulations, Rami! We’re definitely excited to have expanded representation within ACEP leadership. Rami will undoubtedly do a bang-up job in that spot. Also from the council, we learned that the EM Group Ownership Task Force will be looking at cost/quality issues as they pertain to group consolidation.

Jay Mullen, our Section Chair, highlighted growth within the group from just over 100 members not too long ago to 250 members now. Membership is crucial for keeping our voice within ACEP and it’s great to see such growth! Adam Kruschinske, our ACEP executive liaison discussed legislative issues, specifically the potentially disastrous current language of the No Surprises act. The law includes IDR, but unfortunately uses payor determined rates as the benchmark for what the final payment should be. We will have to be active on this issue. The language as it stands could potentially drop our reimbursement by up to 40%!

We capped the meeting off with an excellent presentation from Kathy Valli, the prior COO for Emergency Medical Associates of New Jersey (previous longstanding democratic group) for 17 years. She discussed strategies that democratic groups can utilize to win and retain contracts. Interspersed was discussion amongst the attendees about group growth and its potential troubles. The whole discussion was incredibly information dense. I highly recommend watching the soon-to-be posted video on the ACEP DGP website if you were unable to attend.

That about wraps it up! Moving forward, the DGP leadership is planning another lecture/discussion series over the next year focusing on group growth. We look forward to great talks and equally great discussion. Until then, reach out and start discussion on the engagED forum to keep the magic happening.

Take care!

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