A judge has rejected a request by 17 physicians for a temporary restraining order barring OhioHealth, Columbus, from revoking their privileges over an investment in a competing specialty hospital.
The ruling by Common Pleas Judge Patrick McGrath came more than a month after eight-hospital OhioHealth revoked the privileges of physician investors in for-profit New Albany Surgical Hospital, a 42-bed orthopedic facility located in a Columbus suburb.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday that is not affected by the ruling on the restraining order, the physicians maintain that the hospital cannot revoke privileges based solely on economic factors. Their privileges were stripped effective Jan. 31.
Carl Berasi, D.O., chairman of the specialty hospital and one of the physicians whose privileges were revoked, said economic credentialing ultimately hurts patients.
"Physicians built this hospital because we were dissatisfied with the corporate business culture (at OhioHealth) and the inability to provide good patient care," Berasi said. The system's stance is "about revenge at this point -- and the revenge affects the patient," he said.
OhioHealth spokesman Mark Hopkins said, "We look forward to resolving the issue at trial. We still believe it's clear that a physician who practices at two hospitals while having a financial interest at one obviously has a conflict of interest."