Archive October 2018 XIX, No. 10

Anesthesia Alert: In or Out of Love With Your Anesthesia Group?

Before you switch providers, consider the true cost of divorce

Mark Weiss

Mark Weiss, JD


FOR RICHER OR FOR POORER Think long and hard before you break up with your anesthesia group.

When I was a kid growing up in Los Angeles, there was a television show that I loved to watch: the original Divorce Court. You see, at the time, California required grounds for divorce, and the show proffered up titillating tales of deceit. But just across the border in Nevada, one could quickly obtain “residency” and snip marital ties on a whim.

Just like a 1960s Reno divorce, earlier this year, Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital ended its 24-year marriage to Southern Tier Anesthesiologists.

We still love you, but, we’re in love with someone else who spends less on clothes stipends.

Apparently, it was the “for richer or for poorer” part of the marital vows that pushed the hospital over the edge. According to a letter obtained by the Olean Times Herald, Olean General Hospital stated that Southern Tier’s bid for the renewal contract would have cost it too much: “It is simply not feasible for [Olean General Hospital] to pay millions of dollars more than necessary over the life of the ... contract.”

Love and money

Of course, none of us are privy to the inside terms of Southern Tier’s proposal for stipend support from the hospital and none of us know what the successor group proposed. Southern Tier claims to have done its best to meet any offer. But the hospital says there was a great gap. And, it’s reported that the hospital lost $3 million the previous year. How and why they lost it is anyone’s guess, but it’s unlikely that it was significantly due to Southern Tier’s contract.

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