Texas anesthesiologist loses appeal

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal request of San Antonio anesthesiologist Jaydeep Shah, DO, Bloomberg Law reported Jan. 14.

Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Priscilla Owen wrote that Dr. Shah's "definition of the relevant market is insufficient as a matter of law," Bloomberg Law reported.

According to the complaint, Dr. Shah was fired from STAR Anesthesia, a medical practice that provided pediatric anesthesia services to San Antonio-based Baptist Health System, after a decade of serving as director of pediatric anesthesiology and perioperative services.

The firing stemmed from Baptist's decision to terminate the pediatric income guarantee through which Dr. Shah was paid. Dr. Shah alleged that the termination of the income guarantee led to pediatric anesthesia coverage being "in disarray," because other pediatric anesthesiologists reduced their hours or resigned from the Baptist Health team.

The complaint alleged that although STAR and Baptist had an exclusivity agreement for anesthesia services, Baptist circumvented the agreement by requiring STAR to subcontract with other anesthesia providers to service Baptist providers that didn't want to use STAR's anesthesiologists.

In the spring of 2017, the lack of exclusivity allegedly hurt Dr. Shah when Baptist refused the surgeons' request to use Dr. Shah's anesthesia services. BHS claimed that because Dr. Shah was no longer a member of STAR, the hospital's surgeons could no longer use his services.

The complaint read, "Refusing to allow Dr. Shah to practice because of the 'exclusive' agreement between BHS and STAR is simply not credible."

It's unclear if Dr. Shah will attempt to bring his case to the Supreme Court.

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