Metro-East News

A new company will start providing Memorial’s doctors, and many are outraged

Memorial Hospital East is located in Shiloh.
Memorial Hospital East is located in Shiloh.

Memorial Hospital has decided to change the company that provides doctors to its emergency rooms in Belleville and Shiloh and then the company that had been providing the emergency department service said it would not renew its contract to provide two other types of doctors to Memorial, according a hospital spokeswoman.

The impending change in physician services has sparked an outcry on Memorial’s Facebook page and on for the hospital not to change companies that provides doctors to Memorial.

CEP America had been providing services to the two emergency departments but Memorial has decided to switch to TeamHealth for the services.

“Changing the contract from CEP to TeamHealth does not prohibit any current physicians from working at Memorial, to our knowledge. Memorial would like nothing better than for all current providers to consider joining TeamHealth and continue a working relationship at Memorial,” spokeswoman Anne Thomure said in an email.

Representatives from either CEP America or TeamHealth could not be reached for comment.

Thomure said Memorial told Emeryville, Calif.-based CEP America on Nov. 6 it would not to renew its contract with the physician-owned company, which provided emergency room staff. This contract ends Dec. 31. To replace CEP America, Memorial will use doctors from Knoxville, Tenn.-based TeamHealth in the emergency departments at Memorial’s two hospitals.

Three days after CEP America received notice that Memorial was ending its emergency department contract, CEP America notified Memorial that it is terminating its contract for hospitalist and intensivist services effective Feb. 8, Thomure said.

“This decision is being made solely by CEP America,” Thomure said in an email. “Nonetheless, Memorial is committed to continuing to operate quality hospitalist and intensivist programs to meet the health care needs of its patients and is moving forward in securing one or more new providers for these services.”

Hospitalists are doctors whose primary job is to care for patients admitted to a hospital and intensivists are doctors who care for critically ill or injured patients.

Last year, Memorial established a partnership with BJC HealthCare of St. Louis and Thomure said nine BJC hospitals already use TeamHealth for emergency department services.

The terms of the contracts involving doctors at Memorial were not released.

In September, Memorial’s administration requested a proposal from CEP America to continue the contract that expires on Dec. 31 for emergency department services, Thomure said.

“Like any responsible business who are good stewards of their resources, Memorial sought proposals from other providers to provide these services. After evaluating the proposals, Memorial decided to transition these services to TeamHealth,” Thomure said in an email.

TeamHealth has more than 19,000 clinicians in hospitals across the country, Thomure said.

“TeamHealth has invited CEP America personnel to explore their employment opportunities,” Thomure said in an email. “While Memorial certainly supports CEP personnel talking to TeamHealth, it ultimately is the decision of those employees to talk with them.”

The number of doctors and other staffers provided by CEP America to Memorial hospitals was not immediately available.

Memorial partnered with CEP America in 2012 to provide emergency department physician, physician assistant and nurse practitioner coverage and added CEP’s hospitalist service in 2014 and the intensivist service in 2016, according to a news release from Memorial last year.

Memorial Regional Health Services Inc., which is a nonprofit organization jointly governed by Memorial and BJC HealthCare, operates Memorial Hospital Belleville at 4500 Memorial Drive and it operates Memorial Hospital East at 1404 Cross Street in Shiloh.