I want to applaud Jay Greene's initiative in investigating the growing disillusionment among healthcare executives over the services of traditional emergency department contract managers (Jan. 31, p. 29).
As a former sales executive for two of the largest providers of contract management services, I long have advocated many of the recommendations contained in the graphics titled "What administrators should ask" and "Be leery of promises."
While several articles have been published in physician journals about the sharp rise in physician frustrations with contract managers, Mr. Greene's article was the first to document healthcare executives' preference to do without traditional contract managers. The two cases in the article are examples of a rapidly growing trend.
Administrators and physicians who want to form their own emergency department groups often find they need specialized expertise to locate sufficient coverage personnel, establish a responsive and dependable provider group, develop and execute the needed contracts as well as implement the coverage service. Historically, the only source of that organizational and operational expertise has been the contract management companies, and they understandably are reluctant to share information.
Administrators have another option to choosing contract managers or going it alone. Physician Staffing Resources assists hospitals and physicians who want to work together to create local, independent coverage services. We "spin off" our contracts to the independent groups we have created. We have created such groups in several states, and more are coming on line all the time.
ROBERT R. FIELDER
Executive vice president
Physician Staffing Resources
Flower Mound, Texas