ACEP submitted a statement for the record following the June 8 bipartisan Congressional hearing, “Consolidation and Corporate Ownership in Health Care: Trends and Impacts on Access, Quality, and Costs.”
The statement shines a light on challenges facing emergency physicians today, particularly the non-financial effects of mergers and acquisitions, and includes recommendations to help ensure the viability and autonomy of the emergency medical workforce.
The statement said:
“All in all, with some notable exceptions, it appears that the current practice of consolidation in EM detrimentally affects physicians’ interests and well-being, which in turn may affect their ability to serve their patients.
ACEP hopes that our members’ experiences with mergers and acquisitions provide legislators and regulators with a comprehensive view of the labor-related impacts of mergers in emergency medicine and perhaps in health care more broadly.”
The statement to the Senate Finance Committee outlines ACEP concerns about mergers and acquisitions contributing to decreasing wages, increasing workloads, financial pressures, and challenges finding or keeping a job.
Per a survey of ACEP members, 50% of respondents indicated that a merger worsened or eliminated their due process rights and 60% indicated reduced wages following an acquisition.
Among our recommendations on this important issue, ACEP calls on the FTC and DOJ to ensure that the guidelines for evaluating mergers include a detailed assessment of labor-related impacts, and to investigate the mergers and acquisitions that have led directly to anticompetitive and harmful practices.