Radiologists sue Sutter Health

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Twin lawsuits filed Wednesday by six physicians associated with Radiology Associates of Sacramento allege that Sutter Health has denied their privileges to perform procedures that other independent doctors continue to perform. The lawsuits, one filed in Placer County and the other in Sacramento County, are based on Sutter’s decision in April to bar the six physicians from practicing at Sutter hospitals. Earlier this year, Sutter ended a contract with the radiological group and instead opted to use radiologists from its own medical foundation. Radiology Associates of Sacramento have been providing radiology services at Sutter hospitals since 1923. A statement released by the radiology group alleges that barring the radiologist group from performing procedures solely based on the fact that they are radiologists “is unlawful.” Dr. Mark Leibenhaut, president of Radiology Associates, stated in a press release that Sutter’s decision to discriminate against his physicians is a detriment to Sutter’s patient care. “Patients at Sutter General Hospital, Sutter Memorial Hospital and Sutter Roseville Medical Center deserve access to the highest quality of care,” he said. The six radiologists are seeking both preliminary and permanent injunctions that would prohibit Sutter from interfering with their ability to perform procedures on patients in their hospitals. Nancy Turner, spokesperson for Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, was unable to comment on the lawsuit, but offered this statement: “Our attorneys have not yet reviewed the complaints, so we are not able to offer further details at this time.” ~Josh Fernandez