Thursday, April 08, 2010

Using "Treatment Standardization" To Bar Cardiologists From Hospitals

Is the need for cookbook medicine is being used as a ploy to bar cardiologists from practicing at competing hospital systems in Colorado?
Banner Health, the owner of McKee Medical Center in Loveland and the operator of North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley, soon will bar cardiologists who are not on the Banner payroll from practicing at the Greeley hospital. The denial of hospital privileges to cardiologists outside the Phoenix-based Banner system is the latest step in carving up the heart of the Northern Colorado health care market, where two dominant hospital groups — Banner and Poudre Valley Health System — vie for shares.

PVHS chief executive Rulon Stacey said the decision to block non-Banner cardiologists was an unprecedented step in Colorado’s health care industry.

“I personally have never seen, and don’t believe there is anywhere in Colorado, a policy of exclusivity that applies to cardiologists,” Stacey said Tuesday. “We have no plans to restrict access to any of our hospitals, and have never even discussed the topic.”

But Rick Sutton, former chief executive at McKee and now in his second year in the same position at NCMC, said the move was not about competition but about patient interests.

Sutton said the new policy, spelled out in a March 17 memo to his medical staff and taking effect April 19, was designed to standardize treatment procedures and reduce variation. He said Stacey’s criticism has no bearing on the goals of the new policy.

“That may be his experience and his opinion, but that doesn’t mean this is something we can’t do,” Sutton said.
I wonder who will stand up for patients if hospital-directed "standardized treatment procedures" are antiquated or just not right?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you know there are always THE laweyers who will stand up:)