Three surgeons have filed a lawsuit against 883-bed St. Joseph's Hospital, Tampa, Fla., alleging the hospital unfairly prohibited them from performing heart surgery. The lawsuit, filed in Hillsborough County (Fla.) Circuit Court, alleges the hospital denied physicians Mark Alkire, John Brock and Edward Izzo due process when it stopped allowing them to perform heart surgery using its facilities. The doctors remain on staff and can perform thoracic and vascular surgery at St. Joseph's, a hospital spokeswoman said. The surgeons were denied privileges because they were dropped from the practice of Dennis Pupello, who has had a cardiac surgery agreement with St. Joseph's since 1982, said Isaac Mallah, St. Joseph's CEO. When Pupello ended his relationship with the surgeons in December 2000, St. Joseph's kept its exclusive agreement with him. "We still have an agreement with Pupello," Mallah said. "These three were part of his group. He decided he needed to disassociate himself from them." The hospital now has two cardiac surgeons on its staff, Pupello and another doctor in his practice. -- Patrick Reilly
Cardiac surgeons sue Fla. hospital over privileges
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