Sarah Bush vs. Berlin. An Illinois Supreme Court decision on Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Systems' lawsuit against Richard Berlin, M.D., (July, page 2) will have to wait until the fall session. The court went on summer recess before issuing an opinion in the case and will reconvene Sept. 8, although it has not scheduled any action on the lawsuit. Sarah Bush Lincoln, based in Mattoon, Ill., sued Berlin, a general surgeon, after he left to take a job with Carle Clinic in Urbana, Ill. Lower courts ruled in Berlin's favor, saying that state statutes regarding corporate practice of medicine gave Sarah Bush Lincoln no right to enforce a noncompete clause in Berlin's contract.
Mayer lawsuit settled. Thomas and Gloria Mayer, who found themselves at the center of a controversy involving their medical group's acquisition by a physician practice management firm (July, page 38), have settled their legal battle with MedPartners. Terms were not disclosed. The Birmingham, Ala.-based PPM sued the Mayers and Albert Barnett, saying they failed to cooperate with MedPartners after it acquired their company, Friendly Hills HealthCare Network.
Gloria Mayer was Friendly Hills' chief operating officer, Barnett was its chief executive officer, and Thomas Mayer, M.D., was a consultant to the firm. The Mayers and Barnett countersued after MedPartners filed its suit Nov. 22, 1996, in Orange County, Calif. The Mayers' experience in the practice management industry led them to develop conferences dedicated to warning physicians about potential pitfalls in PPM acquisitions.
Hospital merger scuttled. Samaritan Health Systems of Phoenix, one of the hospital systems profiled in a July cover story on incentive pay for physicians employed by hospitals, won't have to worry about whether its incentive plan can survive a merger with Mercy Healthcare Arizona. The two groups broke off merger talks in July, citing unspecified "business differences."