400-physician practice votes to join Duke Health after suit alleging takeover

Durham, N.C.-based Private Diagnostic Clinic has voted to dissolve and join Duke Health, ending a legal dispute alleging Duke was trying to take over the practice, Triangle Business Journal reported May 13. 

Eugene Moretti, MD, an anesthesiologist with the 90-year-old, 400-physician private practice, sued Duke Dec. 20, alleging the health system was attempting to "take over the PDC over the physicians' objections and without paying for the practice's fair value."

A judge dismissed the lawsuit on May 12, and, according to the Business Journal, the practice and Duke have agreed to work out a deal. 

The practice's board of managers passed a motion March 30 that requested its members' vote on a proposal to dissolve the clinic and create Duke Health Integrated Practice. According to the Business Journal, nearly 96 percent of members voted, and 75 percent voted in favor of the new entity and joining Duke. 

With the old clinic dissolved,there will be "no entity on behalf of which to bring the claims alleged in the complaint," the judge ruled in his dismissal of Dr. Moretti's lawsuit. 

Before the lawsuit, Duke created a faculty practice and mandated that faculty in clinical departments who perform research join the group and become fully employed by July. 

"We are pleased that Duke physicians in the PDC have overwhelmingly endorsed our collaborative effort to create the Duke Health Integrated Practice within Duke University Health System," Duke Health officials told the Business Journal

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