Physician sues CoxHealth after being called 'threat to the public' 

A cardiologist is suing St. Louis-based CoxHealth, alleging the system wrongfully terminated his privileges and reported that he was a threat to the public, the Springfield News-Leader reported April 30. 

Keesag Baron, MD, is suing CoxHealth and the CoxHealth Ferrell Duncan Clinic for defamation; for terminating his privileges, alleging it was done so to force his patients to return to CoxHealth; and for violating antitrust law. 

From 2008 to November 2022, Dr. Baron, who runs Baron Cardiology Group in Springfield, Mo., had admitting staff privileges at CoxHealth. CoxHealth and the clinic allegedly pressured Dr. Baron to send his referrals to them, and when he refused to do so, removed his privileges under the pretense of a death of an 88-year-old, according to the report. 

CoxHealth allegedly initiated a peer review against Dr. Baron, and in June 2022, CoxHealth reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, HHS and other entities that Dr. Baron exhibited poor judgment and behavior issues, among other allegations, and was an "immediate threat to the public."

"We can confirm that Dr. Baron is not an employee of CoxHealth and does not have privileges on any CoxHealth medical staff," the health system told Becker's in an emailed statement. "CoxHealth is committed to integrity and ethics in all of our business practices and in our relationships with physicians. We followed appropriate procedures in all reviews involving Dr. Baron and we stand by all decisions made."

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