Following through on a threat made 18 months ago, OhioHealth, Columbus, revoked the hospital privileges of 17 physicians who are investors in a competing for-profit specialty hospital. The action is effective Jan. 31.
"It is a serious step," OhioHealth spokesman Mark Hopkins said. "We hate to part ways like this. But we've made a decision and now we're going to live with it."
After plans for 42-bed New Albany (Ohio) Surgical Hospital were announced, OhioHealth and rival Mount Carmel Health System said they would restrict or revoke privileges of physicians who referred patients to competing for-profit specialty hospitals in which the physicians held financial interests.
Eight-hospital OhioHealth estimated it could lose as much as $20 million annually in referrals to the New Albany hospital, which opened in December. In response to the system's action last night, a spokesman for the New Albany hospital said, "We continue to believe that physician credentials should be based on a doctor's competence, education, clinical skills, medical judgment and experience, not economics."
To date, Mount Carmel has not taken action against the physicians.