NAPA anesthesiologists to quit servicing Commonwealth Health System over $5M payment dispute — 5 insights

North American Partners in Anesthesia will pull its anesthesiologists from Commonwealth Health System's hospitals June 30, after a dispute around reconciliation payments, The Citizens' Voice reports.

What you should know:

1. NAPA said Berwick, Pa.-based Commonwealth Health reneged on its agreement to pay for work that exceeds the base pay described in the service agreement. NAPA said the health system owes it $5 million. The two parties entered into an agreement in March 2019 for Commonwealth to pay NAPA standard fees with quarterly reconciliation payments.

In the agreement, Commonwealth was expected to pay the difference if work performed exceeded what the fee covered, and NAPA would refund Commonwealth if the work performed was cheaper.

2. Commonwealth accused NAPA of being greedy and said the group "overbilled" the hospital.

3. As a result, NAPA will no longer serve any of the health system's operating rooms and surgery centers.

4. Commonwealth has several strategies in place to deal with potential disruptions and believes service will continue uninterrupted.

5. Commonwealth clinicians are fearful. Scranton, Pa.-based Delta Medix ENT surgeon Mark Frattali, MD, said, "This is a disaster waiting to happen, and it's going to be a tremendous safety issue. It's going to paralyze the surgeons and patient care if this overhaul is allowed to happen."

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