ER physicians sue Envision, accuse firm of practicing corporate medicine

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine Physician Group filed a lawsuit Dec. 20 against Envision Healthcare, claiming the healthcare services company violated state law by taking over emergency department operations at Placentia (Calif.) Linda Hospital. 

Envision took over staffing responsibilities for the hospital, part of Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, in August, according to NBC News. Prior to Envision's takeover, an American Academy of Emergency Medicine group staffed the hospital's ED. 

The lawsuit claims Envision, which is owned by a private equity firm, is violating California laws that ban corporations from practicing medicine. 

"The crisis of corporatization has really reached a peak in emergency medicine," Robert McNamara, MD, CMO of the association's physician group and chair of emergency medicine at Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, told NBC News. "During the pandemic, we had doctors getting pay cuts from these corporate entities and denying physicians due process, which is their right, when they spoke about patient safety. We would like this suit to be a model for other specialties, where doctors feel private equity and corporate influences are not in the best interests of patients."

The suit requests that Envision be blocked from operating at Placentia Linda Hospital and about a dozen other emergency departments in the state. 

Envision is one of the largest emergency medicine groups in the U.S., working with more than 540 healthcare facilities in 45 states. The company does not comment on pending litigation, an Envision spokesperson told Becker's

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