San Francisco and Chinese Hospital sue doctor's
By Julia Cheever, Bay City News Service
April 11, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The city of San Francisco and a
small private hospital in Chinatown sued a medical group in Superior
Court today, alleging that it is forcing doctors to choose between
the group and the hospital.
The lawsuit, filed by the Chinese Hospital Association and the
city against the Brown & Toland Medical Group, alleges that
the group is seeking to induce key doctors to leave the hospital
and sign exclusive agreements to be so-called "preferred
providers" with Brown & Toland.
The lawsuit is based on claims of unfair business practices,
restraint of trade and conspiracy to monopolize the market for
services by managed care physicians and inpatient hospitals.
Chinese Hospital, founded in 1899, has 59 beds. About 160 bilingual
doctors are associated with the hospital.
Brown & Toland is one of the largest medical groups in Northern
California, with a total of about 1,500 doctor members.
The lawsuit claims Brown & Toland's actions could potentially
cause Chinese Hospital to lose a critical mass of doctors and
their patients and shut down.
Richard Grossman, a lawyer for Chinese Hospital, said, "Brown
& Toland should not be asking its physicians to sign exclusionary
agreements requiring them to resign from health care organizations
serving the Chinese community."
Brown & Toland released a statement today in response to
the lawsuit, insisting the group's actions have been lawful and
vowing to "vigorously defend ourselves."
"Brown & Toland's top priority is its patients and ensuring
they receive the best care possible. Brown & Toland prides
itself on providing our doctors with the most advanced technology
so patients are ensured exemplary medical care. It has been our
desire and intent, consistent with this priority, to support continuation
of Chinese Hospital as a strong and vital health care facility,"
the statement read.
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