In a case that has been dubbed as “reverse credentialing” a 62 member physician group practice in Rock Hill New York has pulled out of 174 bed Catskill Regional Medical Center, citing a litany of complaints about the facility and its leadership. The group represented about one quarter of the hospital’s medical staff. Catskill Regional is located in Harris, NY about 90 miles from New York City.
The battle between Sullivan County’s sole hospital and it’s largest physician group practice has torn this rural community apart. As angry words and accusations are exchanged on both sides, residents are not sure who to believe.
On June 2, 2006 the Times-Herald Record Online reported that Crystal Run Healthcare left Catskill Regional Medical Center on June 1st “with guns blazing.”
In a news conference Crystal Run managing partner Dr. Hal Teitelbaum laid out his complaints against the hospital and called for the state to intervene.
“It was the end of two years of Crystal Run trying to change the hospital from the inside,” Teitelbaum said.
In a 16-page, single-spaced document, Teitelbaum detailed his staff’s worries in several areas. He also pointed to financial relationships between several doctors and the hospital that he says represent conflicts of interest.
These complaints have all been filed with the state Department of Health, which is investigating.
On June 15, 2006, in an opinion piece also printed by the Times-Herald Record Online entitled Crystal Run doctors rejected the hospital’s rules, Joseph Lauterstein, M.D., a recently retired cardiologist who served as chief of cardiology at Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) for 34 years, defended the hospital.
Dr. Lauterstein stated that Dr. Teitelbaum’s complaints began shortly after the group applied for staff privileges at CRMC. He felt that the medical board office was not processing the Crystal Run applications quickly enough, and he did not like the medical staff constitution, bylaws or rules and regulations. According to Lauterstein, these disagreements led to “the present state of affairs, which is not about quality but about power or the lack of it.”
On June 16, 2006 the Times-Herald reported that Catskill Regional’s CEO Art Brien announced the immediate lay off of 53 employees, an event he states is directly tied to Crystal Run’s departure.
6/16/06 Times-Herald – Catskill Regional in Critical Condition
6/15/06 Times-Herald – Crystal Run doctors rejected the hospital’s rules
6/2/06 – New York Times – Medical Group, Citing Poor Care, Breaks With Catskill Hospital
5/25/06 – Times-Herald – Care at Catskill Regional Medical Center is excellent
5/13/06 – Times_Herald – Scrutiny of Catskill hospital
Hat tip to Nena from SoftMed for sending this tip.