March 1, 2020
Dear Mr. Green,
Emergency Medicine Care LLC (“EMC”) is a small physician owned group that has provided Emergency Care Center coverage at Olathe Health since 1988. Over that 32 year span, EMC’s primary focus has and always will be providing the highest level of quality and compassionate care to the patients of Olathe Health.
While Emergency Medicine Care has been established at Olathe health quite some time, there was a shift in leadership in July of 2019 for our group. Since that time, the new leadership team has been committed to fully understanding and reevaluating all of our managerial strategies and goals. Our primary focus is providing the very best care possible to our patients, often in their greatest time of need. As a result, we have chosen to use a primary coding and billing company to pursue our initial collection efforts. Martin Gottlieb and Associates are currently filling this role for Emergency Medicine Care. They act on our behalf and send multiple billing notices to our patients. We have worked to ensure that they offer different payment options and assistance to those who might have difficulty paying their bills. In addition, we recently requested our billing company extend the amount of time and number of statements they send prior to an account being sent to collections.
Another approach that EMC management is pursuing is the CarePayment program. If the initial efforts to arrange any payment plan with Gottlieb prove futile, our patients will be offered enrollment in CarePayment. This will offer a no interest payment plan option, as well as have absolutely no effect on a patient’s credit score. We want to offer this service to our patients as we believe it may help some patients that are struggling to pay their medical bills.
It should be noted that EMC also honors all charity care assignments set by Olathe Health. Our goal is complete consistency with Olathe Health, and any patient balance deemed as charity care by the hospital is fully honored by EMC.
If all of the above options are exhausted, the patient is sent a final notice by Gottlieb that the account will be turned over to a collection agency. EMC relies on an expert, third-party collection agency, Account Recovery Specialist, Inc. (“ARSI”). ARSI is a Kansas-based collections agency that, as reflected on its website, pursues through compassion and integrity the recovery of payment for goods services rendered. Our management team adamantly affirms that it has not provided ARSI with any directive or instruction to be any more aggressive with collections efforts. EMC was unaware that its patients purportedly faced more lawsuits and garnishments than patients who owed their debt to the non-profit hospital prior to your letter. EMC is currently investigating your findings regarding the collection process to learn more about how and why the collections process used by ARSI differs, if at all, from that of Olathe Health or any other physician group. We have full intention for the companies that manage our billing and collections to take a compassionate and fair approach to these challenging situations. For any additional information about the collection process, we encourage you to contact ARSI’s General Counsel directly.
EMC will continue to strive to provide the most compassionate, responsive, and critical care to our patients. We will continue to take every measure possible to ensure that its entire practice is reflective of and consistent with Olathe Health’s mission, philosophy, and practices.
Emergency Medicine Care, LLC
June 21, 2020
Dear Mr. Green,
Since we last communicated, Emergency Medicine Care has continued to provide expert compassionate care to patients and families of the Olathe Health System. We have done this in the setting of a global pandemic and unprecedented economic shutdown, all while focusing on the safety of our patients, nurses, supporting staff, and ourselves. We have treated the most critically ill, often while those same patients were fully isolated from their loved ones. We have had to isolate ourselves at times from our own families due to this pandemic. This is our profession, and we will continue to provide the most complete, compassionate care to our patients as this pandemic continues.
Our initial communication with you outlined greatly the standpoint of collection practices of Emergency Medicine Care, and we would refer you primarily to that letter. Prior to your inquiry, the initiation of the CarePayment program was already underway. This process has continued and no accounts have been sent to ARSI for collections since the onset of this process in February. With the broad economic shutdown and widespread hardship ARSI was instructed by our group to halt all collection inquiries on existing accounts in early April. ARSI developed their own policy with the cessation of all collection practices extending for 90 days. As stated in our previous communication, our new leadership has instructed ARSI to permanently discontinue the practice of issuing bench warrants as the final step in their collection process. Emergency Medicine Care has and will continue to fully align our collection practices with that of Olathe Health.
Finally, our group is a small business, one which is facing similar challenges to many of those nationwide. Despite these significant challenges, we will continue to provide the most compassionate critical care to our patients, often in their greatest time of need. Emergency Medicine Care will always remain fully committed to Olathe Health’s mission, philosophy, and goals.
Emergency Medicine Care LLC