SSM Health is off the hook after a Missouri judge dismissed a lawsuit from a group of cardiologists who objected to the revocation of their clinical privileges at the St. Louis-based system.
Physicians at St. Louis Heart and Vascular sued SSM Health in March seeking $50 million in damages and claiming that being barred from the region's largest health system would impede patient access and cause the doctors economic and reputational harm.
However, St. Louis County Circuit Judge Ellen Ribaudo concluded that not-for-profit SSM Health complied with its bylaws when it inked an exclusive contract with another cardiology group. As a consequence, the St. Louis Heart and Vascular cardiologists are not entitled to relief, Ribaudo decided Dec. 31.
The court also ruled that the plaintiffs would not be significantly harmed because they have medical facilities and privileges at other local hospitals.
St. Louis Heart and Vascular must cover all legal costs associated with the lawsuit, Ribaudo further ordered.
Neither SSM Health nor St. Louis Heart and Vascular responded to requests for comment by publication.