Anesthesia group attempts to legally block new provider from working with Atrium Health — 7 insights

The legal saga between Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health and Charlotte-based Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants continued when SAC filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and injunction against Atrium's new provider, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Here's what you should know.

1. SAC, a Mednax practice, and Atrium Health are in the midst of an intense legal battle after the health system decided to switch providers after utilizing SAC for 37 years.

2. SAC is seeking a restraining order and injunction to prevent a new group of anesthesiologists from working for Atrium. The new vendor is supposed to begin offering services July 1.

3. Atrium opted to switch from SAC after saying the anesthesia group rejected several steps that would've lowered anesthesia cost, while maintaining the same level of care. Atrium opted to replace SAC with the newly formed Charlotte-based Scope Anesthesia of North Carolina. Scope was formed after being brought into Atrium to consult on anesthesia services.

4. Mednax accused Scope of using SAC's trade secrets to launch a competing firm and win the hospital's contract. In its most recent legal filing, SAC accused Atrium and Scope of recruiting SAC anesthesiologists.

5. SAC and Atrium have deals in place that would bar the soliciting and hiring of SAC physicians, which Mednax believes Atrium is violating.

6. Mednax is hoping the court will prevent Scope from providing anesthesia services while the case is pending.

7. Atrium responded to the filing in a statement saying, "[Mednax is filing] yet another meritless legal attack," and then said SAC is attempting to bully itself into a new contract. The health system later doubled down saying SAC would "not be providing any anesthesia services in Atrium Health facilities past June 30, and nothing about this court filing changes that."

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