Doctors, Mercy Reach Agreement

Doctors at the Valley City Sanford Clinic have decided to continue their privileges at Mercy Hospital after discussions between the four doctors, clinic operations director Linda Lane and Hospital Administrator Keith Heuser.
Thursday doctors Genevieve Goven, Dave Hochhalter, Misty Anderson and James Buhr met with Heuser and Lane and decided to rescind their resignations of hospital privileges slated for Aug. 1.
Lane said, "On behalf of Sanford, were are very happy to have reached agreement. The physicians, Keith, and met, and the physicians presented" a list of requests. "We are very happy to bring this to reconciliation."
Lane added, "We will have a full -service clinic and will be working with Mercy Hospital and physicians will have privileges as they always have. The physicians want to continue to admit patients, and at some point in the near future Mercy will be providing coverage on weekends.
"We want to continue to provide for our own patients during the week. Mercy Hospital will provide emergency room coverage. We felt it was a win/win for both sides.When Sanford patients are admitted, physicians will be notified, and will supervise admissions. Physicians will be getting a little relief, and continue to provide for their patients in the hospital."
Heuser said he was thrilled an agreement was reached. "I am really glad physicians came with their list of concerns. Some of the things that came out today were easy to agree to. I think they will be easy for us to work with the physicians on. I have also notified the board and hospital employees we have reached the agreement. Doctors have not left, and things will continue as before."
Lane said she appreciates the concern and support expressed by community members that both the clinic and hospital thrive.
Heuser and Lane agreed community members are "very supportive of both of us together."
Said Heuser, "it (reaching an agreement) is a huge relief for us. In my 31 years of healthcare, this is something I have never witnessed before. The board has discussed this and will be meeting more regularly with medical staff."
Lane said, "The physicians were also relieved – they were saddened by the thought they would not be able to care for their patients when they need hospitalization."
Mercy Hospital is contracting with a company called Emcare, which operates mostly in Texas, to staff its emergency room, Heuser said Wednesday.
Cherie Baker, regional manager for Emcare, said Wednesday all doctors it will provide to cover the Mercy Hospital emergency room will either have ATLS, ACLS and pediatric advanced life support credentials or be board certified in emergency medicine.
Heuser said business pressures and other issues made the change in emergency room staffing necessary, and he doubts the staffing change will be reversed. “Staffing in the (emergency room) is not just a doctor issue. It is highly unlikely staffing in the emergency room will change.”