LMH Health makes strategic shift in emergency and inpatient care
At the LMH Health Board of Trustees meeting today, board members were notified of a change in contract status with Lawrence Emergency Medicine Associates (LEMA), the physician-services group that staffs the emergency medicine and hospitalist services at LMH Health.
“As part of our administrative due diligence, we review contracts regularly to ensure they align well with our goals in patient care and cost-effectiveness,” said Russ Johnson, President and CEO of LMH Health. “These reviews are conducted through careful assessment of objective criteria, and contracts are always evaluated in an impartial, transparent manner. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the very best possible care at the greatest value for our community.”
Both LMH Health and LEMA committed to ongoing, collegial negotiations during the past many weeks. As part of its review, LMH Health also obtained proposals from two other physician-services groups that provide inpatient and emergency physician coverage to top hospitals in the region, which enabled comparable data regarding cost, operational tools, and quality of care.
“Critical, yet fair, contract standards allow us to honor one of the strong foundations of our organization – financial stewardship – an imperative given our commitment to providing more than $25 million of charitable care to our community each year,” said Johnson. “At the same time, our patient-first approach ensures that patient safety and quality of care remain our top priorities. These must be held in balance across all the services we provide”.
At the conclusion of the analysis, LMH Health decided to move forward with a contract from Envision Physician Services, a national firm with a strong regional presence and resources necessary to address the evolving healthcare environment. The decision will save the hospital an estimated $5 million over three years, while maintaining a high standard of care and 24/7 physician coverage in both the emergency room and hospitalist program.
“This is a very difficult decision, and while we believe it’s the right one, it’s still tough to make a change from a trusted partner over the past 26 years,” said Johnson. “We believe Envision shares LMH Health’s commitment to high-quality, safe, and affordable patient care. Based on our research and references, the organization has a reputation for patient-focused care and an understanding of consumer needs and affordability.”
Envision will begin providing Hospitalist services on October 1 and Emergency Department services on November 1.
“The LMH Health senior leadership team understands this means a change for our physicians in these areas, and we very much hope to retain the providers we have worked with over the years,” said Johnson. “We have directed Envision to do everything possible to make this a smooth transition for our physicians, staff and patients.
“We appreciate the many years of exceptional service by LEMA physicians and advanced practice professionals to the patients of LMH Health. Their commitment to negotiate in an amicable and honorable manner is testament to the integrity of their organization,” said Johnson. “While it was a difficult decision to transition away from this longstanding partnership, doing so will improve our long-term financial strength, enabling us to further grow our investment in innovative patient care, exceptional providers and charitable care in our community.”