Letter to the Editor
After reading the letter to the editor from Dr. Robert McNamara in the February issue about Premier's recent sale to TeamHealth, we felt the need to set the record straight. (EMN 2015;37:4; http://bit.ly/1D8AKbe.)
One particular comment that was patently false, that “[a]ll of the rank-and-file emergency physicians at the 45 Premier-owned EDs woke up to the news on Oct. 22 that they had been sold to TeamHealth.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
The original decision to explore selling our group came from our board of directors, a body that is elected by our providers and shareholders. Following the board's direction, Premier's management team interviewed several prospective groups, and TeamHealth was chosen as the frontrunner. To gauge interest beyond the board of directors, we invited our medical directors and other site leaders to a meeting where TeamHealth representatives answered questions and presented the offer. After the TeamHealth representatives departed, questions were addressed and input solicited.
The board of directors received overwhelming approval from the group to proceed. Once a deal was struck, we then held more than 15 town hall meetings and answered every question from front-line providers. Even providers who were in their first year of employment and not yet shareholders were invited to attend the meetings so they would be included in the process. Each shareholder received a set of detailed and thorough documents that outlined every aspect of the transaction, including the proceeds each and every provider would receive. Nothing was hidden, and no secret meetings or deals occurred.
After this exhaustive process, only five of 350 shareholders voted against the deal. That means that only 1.4 percent of our shareholders voted “no.” No one “woke up” and found Premier had been sold for the benefit of “senior” shareholders unless they had been sleeping for several weeks, and then when they “woke up,” they didn't open their mail. I can't imagine a more open process and a more overwhelmingly positive vote. How many times do doctors agree on anything 98.6 percent of the time, particularly when it involves money? They did in this case!
I can't imagine where Dr. McNamara gets his information, but I do realize this situation fit his personal platform regarding “evil corporate medicine.” For Premier, our selection of TeamHealth was the right choice, for the right reasons, and with overwhelming support from nearly all of our providers/owners.
Premier Providers and Owners
William Cole, MD
Brett Call, DO
Nathaniel Sherman, MD
Timothy Daly, MD
Scott Depot, WV
John Schoettmer, MD
Alice Frazier, MD
Fred Haussman, MD
Ralph Talkers, MD