KK: In effect, you were subsidizing the hospital. Did you decide to withdraw, or did they terminate your contract?
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 36 – No 02 – February 2017
JW: The contract was over Dec. 31 at 11:59 p.m. I had requested face-to-face meetings with emails saying, “Guys, let’s get together and get this worked out.” We got the contract on Nov. 26 or 28. Our first and only face-to-face meeting was Dec. 26. We thought the attorneys could get this worked out. We continued to talk, and our last conversations were Dec. 31 at about 4 p.m. I had submitted a term sheet on what I thought could work out. Summa offered us a three-year contract that decreased our residency funding and offered no financial assistance for the underperforming EDs. We countered with a 15-year contract and made adjustments to the residency funding. I figured we would negotiate that somewhere between the three years they offered and the 15 [the offer was rejected on Dec. 14, with Summa offering a 60-day extension). Eventually, I offered a five-year contract with a revenue assurance the first year. That was rejected on that Saturday [Dec. 31].
KK: Did the contract expire, or did Summa or SEA terminate the agreement?
JW: The contract was going to expire at midnight; it just expired.
KK: It sounds like they may have had a backup plan in place?
JW: Well, they had actually talked to US Acute Care Solutions on Dec. 24 before we had our face-to-face meeting on Dec. 26.
KK: I have heard that your group has been offered employment opportunities with USACS. Is that true?
JW: I want to clarify. We did not walk away from any patient care. We took care of all the patients the way we were supposed to, completed the workups that we had already started, and we did appropriate turnover and checkouts for the physicians coming on. Some of our physicians were offered contracts by US Acute Care Solutions. Some of the contract language is vague and more of a short-term offer than long-term. We are a group that believes in the independent practice of medicine without a lot of the corporate involvement.
KK: I assume none of them have taken the offers.
JW: We had one part-time physician who is now working for the new group, but the other 65 are not.
KK: Well, I admire your solidarity, that’s for certain. Some people have been critical on both sides about the transition of the training program. Tell me, from your perspective, what transition plan you had in place to protect the residents.