A heart surgeon has filed a civil lawsuit against 111-bed Rideout Memorial Hospital, Marysville, Calif., accusing hospital officials and at least four cardiologists of interfering with open-heart operations so they could capitalize on high-cost interventional procedures and raise their charges, according to published reports. The physician, Michael Richman, filed suit last month in Yuba Superior Court in Marysville, about three weeks after hospital officials canceled Richman's privileges following his no contest plea to charges of being under the influence of cocaine. Richman's complaint alleges unfair business practices, wrongful termination and invasion of privacy. Rideout CEO Thomas Hayes said he has been instructed by attorneys not to address specific allegations but said, "The charges are ludicrous and a complete fabrication." Susan Sheridan, a Sacramento attorney who is representing Richman, said her client "wants to get back to performing heart surgery -- his patients want him back." -- by Michael Romano
Doc sues Calif. hospital after losing privileges
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