American Academy of Emergency Medicine


Affiliated Community Healthcare Physicians (ACHP) has filed suit against Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), Meriten Physician Management Company, and Emergency Physicians Medical Group (EPMG). The suit alleges that the activities resulting from a merger between Meriten and EPMG violate the corporate practice of medicine bar and laws prohibiting fee-splitting arrangements.

If left unchallenged, the CHW/Meriten-EPMG deal (or similar deals crafted by other hospital systems) potentially threatens not only emergency physicians, but all other hospital-based physicians, with widespread, coercive, long-term arrangements that could result in massive loss of physician income and erosion of professional autonomy. ACHP estimates that CHW and EPMG have committed over $1 million to their legal defense to preserve the lucrative, 30-year CHW/Meriten-EPMG arrangement and pave the way for others like it with other medical specialties. If such arrangements are allowed, other hospital systems are likely to clone the CHW/Meriten model.

AAEM strongly supports ACHP in its efforts against the CHW/Meriten-EPMG deal. Updates of AAEM's and ACHP's progress in this endeavor are detailed below.