AAEM-PG Fairness Principles
The American Academy of Emergency Medicine strongly supports fair working practices for emergency physicians and recognizes the existence of many different emergency department business models. Consequently, it will certify excellence in the ED workplace if the below are confirmed/certified to be true. Applications will be reviewed by the Academy and any departments that are deemed to fall outside fairness criteria will be provided direct feedback and given ample opportunity to reapply.
Eligibility to join the AAEM-PG or win the AAEM Certificate of Workplace Fairness requires that your group certify the following:
Partnership, political equity, and transparency
Our group provides emergency physicians with a predefined and reasonable pathway to full partnership that does not exceed three years; a clear explanation of the review process and criteria used to grant partnership; a predefined entry and exit process; the exact distribution of all shares held in the group; and a complete explanation of the group’s governance and administration, including how its leadership is chosen and compensated. “Partner” means an emergency physician who is a full and equal shareholder (owner), who has voting status (control) equal to other shareholders in the group. There is no tiered partnership or weighted voting system in our group, and every partner in our group has an equitable voice in group decisions and an equal vote.
Financial fairness and transparency
After a probationary period of no more than one year, complete information on group finance and administration is made freely available on at least a quarterly basis to all physicians automatically, without those physicians having to request it. This includes data on professional charges and collections; revenue and expenses; contracted services such as coding, billing, liability insurance, employee benefits, etc.; and administrative compensation. All partners in the group share fully and fairly in the group’s profits, according to a payment formula democratically decided by the partners. This formula and the process for approving it are open to review by the American Academy of Emergency Medicine or the AAEM-Physician Group board of directors, to ensure compliance with the Academy’s Vision and Mission Statements.
Due process and post-employment fairness
After a probationary period of no more than one year, all physicians in our group are granted a predefined system of due process before involuntary termination of employment or expulsion from the group.* Our physicians are not subject to post-employment restrictive covenants (noncompete clauses), and are free to work anywhere after leaving our group or in the event our group loses its hospital contract. Consistent with AAEM’s principles, the only exception is that a partner or any other physician in our group may be contractually prohibited from remaining at our hospital if the group loses its contract to an entity with any degree of lay (nonphysician) ownership. Our group does not require its physicians to indemnify (hold harmless) the group, the hospital, or any third party.
Commitment to the American Academy of Emergency Medicine
Every physician in our group who is eligible for membership is a member of the Academy.
Commitment to patients
Our group hires only physicians who are board-certified or board-eligible specialists in emergency medicine, as defined by the American Board of Emergency Medicine, the American Osteopathic Board of Emergency Medicine, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons. The only exception is layered coverage of nonemergency areas such as a fast track. In any case, a board-certified or eligible specialist in emergency medicine is present in our emergency department at all times.
Physicians in our group – and any midlevel providers under their supervision – make all clinical decisions in our practice. Their ethical duty is first and foremost to our patients, not to any corporation, shareholder, or other entity.
The AAEM board of directors reserves the right to reasonably amend the requirements of this certificate. The granting of this certificate is not permanent and is subject to periodic review.