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CCFMG agrees to pay $1.2M to settle dispute with Community Health

An over $1 million settlement has been reached following a neurosurgery walkout at the end of 2020, which Community Regional Medical Center says put the hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center at risk.

Community Health System announced Monday that the Central California Faculty Medical Group (CCFMG) had agreed to pay it $1.2 million to settle a dispute after suddenly stopping providing neurosurgery in September 2020.

Community Regional Medical Center says in its complaint that Central California Faculty Medical Group (now Inspire Health Medical Group) planned its neurosurgery walkout for several weeks. Community Health System alleged that Central California Faculty Medical Group gave the hospital less than 32 hours’ notice, which they say was insufficient time to find replacement neurosurgeons, putting the hospital’s Level 1 Trauma Center at risk.

According to Community’s complaint, Central California Faculty Medical Group’s goal was to strip it of its Level 1 Trauma Center designation in order to gain negotiating leverage over Community in unrelated contract negotiations. Central California Faculty Medical Group’s actions forced the hospital—during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Creek Fire—to transfer critical neuro patients out of Fresno for neurosurgical specialty care and to urgently locate replacement neurosurgeons.

“While the $1.2 million settlement CCFMG will pay does not fully address the disruption caused by the unprecedented neurosurgeon walkout, it does reinforce that business disputes should never impact patient care and the health of our community,” said Craig Wagoner, Community’s chief operating officer. “Our hope is that CCFMG will work with us to ensure that abrupt interruption of patient care never happens again.” YourCentralValley

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