Milwaukee-based American Academy of Emergency Medicine Physician Group is suing Envision Healthcare, alleging the company uses shell business structures to retain de facto ownership of emergency room staffing groups.
Here are five things ASCs need to know:
1. The physician group has said a victory in the suit, which also asks the court to declare these structures illegal, would lead to the prohibition of the practice across California in emergency rooms, anesthesiology and hospital medicine.
2. The suit could also spur prosecutors in other states to look at corporate medicine prohibitions more seriously.
3. While 33 states have rules against corporate practice of medicine, companies are sidestepping bans by buying or establishing staffing groups. These groups, while nominally physician-owned, restrict physician authority and prevent them from having control.
4. "We're not asking them to pay money, and we will not accept being paid to drop the case," David Millstein, lead attorney for the plaintiff, told Kaiser Health News. "We are simply asking the court to ban this practice model."
5. The suit is set to go to trial in January 2024.