The History of US Acute Care Solutions
Historically, independent emergency medicine groups had only two strategic choices: sell their practice or face a challenging healthcare environment alone.
In 2015, we formed US Acute Care Solutions to offer physician practices and hospital systems a third option. The new company would be owned and led by physicians, but leverage the resources, business support and capital of a company with national reach and scale.
By bringing together like-minded physician groups from across the country, we are now drawing from an unprecedented level of talent, commitment and passion.
EMP & WCAS Partner to Found USACS
In May, 2015, Ohio-based Emergency Medicine Physicians joined with capital partner Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe to launch US Acute Care Solutions. The new company retained its original mission, To Care for Patients, and its deep, historical commitment to physician ownership.
Additionally, the new company set out to offer like-minded physicians groups the option to join as a founding partner, and the opportunity to leverage and expand best practices across the country. Together, USACS founding partners set out to build nothing short of a truly world-class acute care group.
Laying the Groundwork with Leadership
In October 2015, US Acute Care announced a slate of new leaders with deep experience in scaling incredible organizations. In addition to physician leaders who took on national roles, the expanded leadership team included Dave Johnson as Chief Operating Officer, Dan Savitt as Chief Financial Officer, and Sharon Brunecz as Chief Human Resources Officer. Meanwhile, Brad Keller joined USACS as Executive Vice President of Managed Care, and Sam Vail took on the role of Chief Development Officer, leading USACS' aggressive Mergers and Acquisitions strategy.
“USACS brings thought-leadership to the industry and, now, an executive team with shared core values to drive and continue to develop the USACS mission,” Peter Hudson, MD, board chairman of USACS, said at the time. “We are focused on becoming the industry leader, and we need best-in-class executives to champion yet another superior disruption to a stale healthcare system desperately needing innovation.”
October - December 2015
Three New Founding Partners
USACS capped 2015 by announcing three new founding partners to the group: Denver-based Emergency Physicians at Porter Hospitals (EPPH), Maryland-based MEP Health, and Florida-based Tampa Bay Emergency Physicians (TBEP).
The addition of these three groups represented significant growth for US Acute Care Solutions, launching the company into new markets and solidifying its presence in others. The new company now served nearly 4 million patients annually at more than 90 locations in 20 states.
More importantly, the new founding partners brought additional physician leaders and new programs to help serve patients better. A new National Clinical Governance Board began the work of examining best practices across all founding partners and expanding the best programs throughout the new company. Physician leaders from each of the new groups took on new, national leadership roles, proof of the expanded opportunity available as part of a larger organization.
April - June 2016
Explosive Growth in Colorado
In April and June of 2016, US Acute Care Solutions added two new groups in Colorado, APEX Emergency Group and ERGENTUS. ERGENTUS treated nearly 120,000 patients annually at four emergency departments in the Denver area, while APEX served approximately 150,000 patients annually at four hospitals and four freestanding emergency facilities in Colorado, and one additional hospital in Kansas.
Together with EPPH, the two new groups joined to form "USACS Colorado." All three groups joined with the same commitment to physician ownership as other groups, understanding the principle that the best patient care and the best hospital partnerships result when physicians maintain majority ownership and management of the practice.
USACS Makes Debut at ACEP 16, Announces Groundbreaking Women's Initiatives
October 2016 was US Acute Care Solutions' debutante ball, so to speak. For the first time, USACS founding partners presented a united front at the ACEP Scientific Assembly, advancing the new brand anywhere and everywhere possible.
In addition to a new brand and an expanded team of recruiters and physician leaders, USACS announced a groundbreaking new parental leave policy, and hosted a new ACEP Women's Dialogue Series, featuring news anchor and producer Soledad O'Brien as the inaugural keynote.
These and other initiatives were part of an initiative to make US Acute Care Solutions a destination of choice for women throughout the country.
Throughout the year, USACS was also pleased to announce that several prominent women clinicians chose to become part of our leadership team.
November - December 2016
More Explosive Growth Caps a Year of Change
In November and December 2016, USACS added three new groups, adding about 40 locations in three states. In November, a fourth Denver group, Long's Peak Emergency Physicians (LPEP), joined the Colorado region, while in Maryland, Silver Spring Emergency Physicians (SSEP) joined the Mid-Atlantic region.
Meanwhile, in December, one of the largest groups in Texas, Emergency Services Partners (ESP), announced they would join USACS. ESP treated more than a million patients annually at 36 locations centered around Austin and San Antonio. Additionally, USACS was pleased to add approximately 750 physician and APP clinicians to the team.
“As one of the leading physician-owned emergency medicine groups in the United States, we are thrilled about joining other like-minded groups as a USACS founding partner,” said Cheryl Conner RN, CEO of ESP. “ESP shares the same fundamental belief with USACS that the physician-owned model is the most effective model for the delivery of patient-centered care.”
September - December 2017
New integrated care partnerships in Texas and Virginia
In September 2017, US Acute Care Solutions and Cedar Park Regional Medical Center announced a new integrated acute care partnership.
In December 2017, USACS and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital formed a partnership to provide emergency services in Virginia. USACS also welcomed the physicians of Piedmont Emergency Consultants (PEC) to the group. This partnership included two locations: Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital’s main emergency department and its freestanding emergency department at the Sentara Martha Jefferson Outpatient Care Center.
June - November 2018
Expansion in Colorado, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania
In June 2018, US Acute Care Solutions expanded its partnership with Centura Health, which included three groups: FRES, SWEP and SCES, located in central and southwest Colorado, making USACS an essential provider of emergency medicine in Colorado and western Kansas.
In July 2018, USACS expanded its partnership with Union Hospital in Elkton, Maryland, by bringing emergency and hospitalist services to provide seamless, quality patient care.
In August 2018, Harrisonburg Emergency Physicians (HEP) of Harrisonburg, Virginia, elected to join the group. The physicians of HEP provide emergency services at Sentara RMH Medical Center (Sentara RMH), the third Sentara facility in the USACS portfolio.
In November 2018, USACS brought innovative emergency medicine and hospitalist services to Warren General Hospital in Warren, Pennsylvania.
July 2019 - June 2020
Extensive growth in Maryland
US Acute Care Solutions began providing Integrated Acute Care (IAC) services at three Maryland locations: Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville, UPMC Western Maryland in Cumberland, and Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center, in Silver Spring. Additionally, USACS provided IAC services for the former Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, where a 200-bed recovery unit for COVID-19 patients was been set up.
“By placing both emergency and IAC services under a single, accountable team of physician-owners, UPMC Western Maryland patients will benefit,” said Dr. Michael Cetta, Chief of Integrated Acute Care Services at USACS at the time.
How USACS responded to the COVID-19 pandemic
In 2020, US Acute Care Solutions experienced the same sudden and unprecedented declines in hospital and ED volumes related to COVID-19 that everyone else did. How we reacted was different. We stepped up to face this crisis as a leader in our industry and an exceptional partner for our hospitals. We prioritized state-of-the-art patient care and the safety and needs of our clinicians and hospital partners.
October - November 2020
The new sole system solution for Adventist HealthCare Maryland
In October 2020, US Acute Care Solutions became the sole system solution for Adventist HealthCare Maryland as the Greater Washington Emergency Physicians (GWEP) joined the group.
In November 2020, USACS began providing hospitalist and critical care services at AHC Fort Washington Medical Center, becoming the sole Integrated Acute Care (IAC) system solution to all three AHC hospitals in Maryland.
USACS buys out private equity partner
In March 2021, US Acute Care Solutions minority bought out capital partner Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS). Following the transaction, USACS became 90 percent owned by its physicians.
“Physician ownership matters,” said USACS Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dominic J. Bagnoli, MD, FACEP, FAAEM. “WCAS was a strong and reliable partner that helped build the platform upon which we intend to continue growing.”
VEP Healthcare joins USACS
In June 2021, VEP Healthcare Inc. (VEP) merged with US Acute Care Solutions. VEP was founded in 1981 to staff hospital emergency departments in California communities that needed a better solution. For more than 40 years, they continued to grow into a premier provider of clinical management services.
This merger forms the largest physician-owned provider of integrated acute care medicine. We serve more than seven million patients annually in approximately 300 hospital-based locations, making us the fourth-largest provider of emergency medicine services in the United States.
USACS Executive Board Chairman, Dominic J. Bagnoli, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, said, “A merger of this magnitude, coming on the heels of the greatest healthcare crisis of our lifetimes, speaks volumes about the strength and permanence of the physician-ownership model.”
Alteon Health and CEM join USACS
In February of 2022, US Acute Care Solutions announced the acquisition of Alteon Health, which they purchased from private equity shareholders, and Chattanooga Emergency Medicine (CEM), a democratic, physician-owned group that staffs three hospitals in Tennessee and Georgia.
With the two groups joining USACS, our national footprint grows to serving approximately nine million patients annually in more than 500-hospital-based and post-acute programs in 30 states. Our service lines include emergency medicine, hospitalist, observation, and critical care.
Now serving nearly 9 million patients annually at over 500 programs in 30 states, US Acute Care Solutions is truly a world-class integrated acute care group offering emergency, hospitalist and observation medicine to our hospital partners. Across the country, USACS is continuing to expand, bringing more like-minded physician groups on board and driving operational improvement and implementing superior clinical care across the country.
Contact USACS to learn more about our history.