Tri-City Drops Legal Battle Against Scripps Over Patient Referrals
On Wednesday, Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside dropped a four-year lawsuit against San Diego-based Scripps over physicians' referral practices, Modern Healthcare reports (Modern Healthcare, 10/3).
Background on Lawsuit
The lawsuit began in 2008 when Scripps purchased Sharp Mission Park medical group.
In 2009, Sharp doctors began encouraging patients to bypass Tri-City and instead seek care at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, U-T San Diego reports. As a result, Tri-City's patient volume decreased.
Tri-City filed a lawsuit against Scripps shortly after Tri-City CEO Larry Anderson was hired, arguing that referring patients to facilities further south was illegal.
In March, a judge dismissed the lawsuit. Tri-City then filed for an appeal.
In September, Anderson was placed on paid administrative leave for an unspecified personnel matter.
This week, Tri-City leaders announced that they would drop the appeal following conversations with Scripps (Sisson, U-T San Diego, 10/2).
In a release, the Tri-City's board said that "the residents of its district would be better served" by focusing its resources on improving care, rather than legal battles (Modern Healthcare, 10/3).
Matt Soskins -- chief compliance officer at Tri-City -- said the board questioned whether the lawsuit was in patients' best interests "and the answer was no" (U-T San Diego, 10/2).
Chris Van Gorder -- CEO and President of Scripps -- welcomed the news of Tri-City dropping its lawsuit.
In a statement, Van Gorder said, "Now both of our organizations can place our full focus and resources on meeting the health care needs of the community."
He added that the move could bring a "new chapter of cooperation between our hospitals" (Modern Healthcare, 10/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.