Court case ties up surgery center in potential COVID-19 response

A still-in-development surgery center could be used in the COVID-19 response, but a court case involving one of the center's former owners is muddying the picture, the New York Post reports.

What you should know:

1. A SurgiCare ASC in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood is close to being completed. However, John Hajjar, MD, formerly a partial owner of the ASC, will not turn over paperwork to allow the remaining owners to finish construction.

2. West Side Manhattan Real Estate, the group that owns the building, voted Dr. Hajjar off as manager after he declared bankruptcy. Dr. Hajjar has disputed the legitimacy of the vote.

3. According to a court filing, the New York State Department of Health has reached out to the ASC's owners about using the center to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has also received inquiries to use the center as a birthing center. As a result, the ownership group filed a complaint seeking a judge's order to get Dr. Hajjar to turn over the papers.

4. Dr. Hajjar's lawyer disputed the claims and said the other owners are attempting to get the court to force Dr. Hajjar to turn over the papers by claiming this is a "COVID emergency matter."

More articles on surgery centers:
ASCs could get financial relief under $2 trillion stimulus law — 4 things to know
Can ASCs help with the COVID-19 surge?
California's 750+ ASCs prepare to expand services for COVID-19 surge

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