December 29, 2013

Hospital signs ER agreement

Terre Haute firm: Smaller size, focused approach will improve staffing.

by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune

---- — Logansport Memorial Hospital has signed an agreement with a Terre Haute company to provide emergency room services effective at the start of the new year.

Advocating Health ER LLC, Terre Haute, will take over at the emergency room Jan. 1, the hospital announced in a press release Friday afternoon.

Finding a group that can adequately staff the emergency room has been a challenge for the hospital as of late. The Lafayette, La.-based Schumacher Group started at the hospital in October and terminated its contract after failing to recruit enough doctors and nurse practitioners. The company replaced IPM-Logansport LLC, under the Indianapolis-based St. Vincent Emergency Physicians Inc., whose agreement with the hospital resulted in an early termination as well.

Dr. Kayur Patel, chief medical officer of Advocating Health ER, said the company will improve the emergency room’s staffing situation through an increase in the kind of focus a smaller, closer firm can provide.

“Traditionally, emergency room departments have been staffed by a large corporation where there is a significant amount of movement within the organization, creating inconsistency with the providers at a local facility,” Patel stated in the press release.

This in turn can cause emergency care to not meet community expectations, Patel added.

“In order for one to be sustainable in the long term, it is imperative to ensure that the standards of quality are not compromised,” Patel continued.

“The first step lies in hiring the right physicians and creating a long-term partnership track where all are vested for the long term.”

Patel goes on to state in order to accomplish this consistency, it is necessary to re-adopt older principles of emergency care management rather than those associated with the constant growth of modern times.

“We are taking medicine and the emergency department structure back 30 years and creating a small partnership group versus what’s out there today,” Patel stated. “We aim at serving the Logansport community with consistency of the same physicians, not only today, but those that will be here five to 10 years down the line.”

David Ameen, president and CEO of Logansport Memorial Hospital, stated in the press release that emergency care continues to be challenged by an increasing demand for services and a difficult reimbursement environment.

He said the new firm will help the emergency room overcome these challenges.

“We are confident that Advocating Health is a good fit for our community and hospital,” Ameen stated. “We are looking forward to the partnership.”

Logansport Memorial Hospital and Advocating Health ER representatives could not be reached for further comment Friday afternoon.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or Follow him: @PharosMAK