St. Louis Heart and Vascular sued SSM Health March 31 to prevent it from entering into an exclusive contract with another cardiology provider for adult services, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
1. St. Louis Heart and Vascular argues in the lawsuit that the exclusive contract would limit its ability "to compete for and treat adult cardiac patients" because it would no longer have privileges at SSM hospitals.
2. SSM told the Post-Dispatch its exclusive contract would improve care and business practices. The St. Louis-based system also said that St. Louis Heart and Vascular physicians can still see patients at other area hospitals and at the group's surgery center.
3. St. Louis Heart and Vascular's lawsuit is seeking $50 million in damages from SSM.
4. SSM hospitals have granted St. Louis Heart and Vascular physicians privileges for almost 30 years, and in 2016 the group spent more than $15 million to open a practice across the street from the system's DePaul Hospital.
5. St. Louis Heart and Vascular physicians performed 770 procedures on patients at SSM facilities last year, but their privileges will expire at the end of the day April 2 unless a circuit judge approves a motion to prevent it.