TeamHealth Alignment with ACEP Policy Statements
TeamHealth supports the principles laid out in the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Policies. TeamHealth is an organization of physicians, for physicians, and we support all efforts to promote an ideal workplace, including clinical resources, administrative support, competitive compensation, professional growth and transparency. At TeamHealth, our compass lies in supporting the interaction between the physician, the patient and their family, and ensuring this interaction is of the highest quality and satisfaction for our clinicians and patients alike.
Compensation Arrangements for Emergency Physicians
TeamHealth believes that physicians are entitled to fair and equitable compensation, taking into account experience, clinical and administrative services provided, added value to the practice, market conditions, and other appropriate circumstances or factors. We also believe that physicians are entitled to transparency around billing and coding.
Compensation at TeamHealth is driven by national and local market factors, including policy-driven factors (such as Medicare and Medicaid rates), Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) coding changes, surprise medical billing legislation, commercial payer reimbursement, local market economics, and workforce availability. TeamHealth has taken the position that we will fight for fair compensation from both managed care and governmental payers.
We do not provide individual physicians with access to overall revenue or expenses for any specific contract site, as we believe it is competitively sensitive information. Further, TeamHealth does not restrict our clinicians’ ability to work at competing locations, and we believe that a clinician’s choice to work at other locations is unrelated to individual compensation decisions.
Corporate Practice of Medicine
The physician-patient relationship is the center of medicine, and TeamHealth physicians must have the ability to do what they believe in good faith is in the patient’s best interest. We support the corporate practice of medicine prohibitions and believe the prohibitions constructively prevent non-physicians from interfering with or influencing the emergency physician’s medical judgment.
As one of the largest physician organizations in the country, TeamHealth is committed to physician leadership and is physician led. All clinical decisions are made by clinicians (including physicians). Physicians are also closely involved in TeamHealth’s administrative decisions, setting our managed care strategy, and reviewing managed care decisions. Physician group leadership is central to geographic reimbursement decisions. TeamHealth does have non-physician shareholders at its parent company and in certain subsidiaries, none of whom are involved in any clinical or site-level patient care decisions.
At TeamHealth, physicians doing comparable work receive comparable compensation. Providing transparency around the factors that contribute to compensation is a priority for TeamHealth. Rates are based on transparent and accessible market benchmarks, and physicians have access to the necessary information to make informed compensation assessments.
Emergency Physician Contractual Relationships
TeamHealth believes that patients benefit when emergency physicians practice in a stable, equitable, and supportive environment in a framework of fair and appropriate contractual relationships. We support transparency around performance and a fair discovery process for any consideration that would restrict an emergency physician’s employment or ability to practice at a site of care. TeamHealth assures our clinicians due process with a defined approach that includes advocacy for clinicians, compensation for missed shifts, and an internal peer review. TeamHealth has not included non-competes in its staff emergency medicine clinician agreements in many years. However, if the clinician has a non-compete in his or her employment agreement from a previous physician group that was acquired by TeamHealth, we will not seek to enforce the non-compete.
Emergency Physician Rights and Responsibilities
TeamHealth respects the rights of emergency physicians, believes emergency physicians should have autonomy in clinical decision making, and must have the ability to do what they believe in good faith is in the best interest of patients. We believe physicians should have access to adequate resources, be reasonably reimbursed by managed care, and be fairly compensated for their clinical and administrative tasks in a transparent manner. We believe emergency physicians are responsible for practicing medicine in a professional and ethical manner, should have timely access to quality and performance data, their employment should be free from restrictive covenants, and each person is entitled to due process.
Where we have empowered certain physician leaders to oversee and manage the relationship with a hospital partner, we believe non-solicitation agreements are necessary to protect TeamHealth’s investment in the contract.
Guidelines Regarding the Role of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners in the Emergency Department
TeamHealth believes that physician assistants and nurse practitioners serve as integral and valued members of the physician-led emergency department care teams and that all patients deserve access to high-quality patient care delivered by emergency physician-led care teams. We believe that the gold standard is ABEM or AOBEM emergency medicine or pediatric emergency medicine certification, but we also believe in team-based care, including the use of advanced practice clinicians (APCs) as important members of the care team. This is especially true in circumstances where it is difficult or challenging to recruit emergency-trained physicians. TeamHealth has specific guidelines on APC scope of practice and supervision and where APCs are employed. We believe that the level of physician supervision depends on the scope of practice at an individual location and the volume and acuity of patients seen by the advanced practice clinician (APC), in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.
Providers of Unsupervised Emergency Department Care
TeamHealth believes that the independent practice of emergency medicine is best performed by ABEM or AOBEM certified physicians who have completed an ACGME or AOA accredited emergency medicine residency or are in the process of completing such residency, to the extent feasible.