Ex-New York hospital employees claim leadership lied to state officials

Several former Auburn (N.Y.) Community Hospital providers allege hospital leadership lied to state health department officials over a former physician's behavior, according to auburnpub.com.

Six things to know:

1. Several physicians have filed lawsuits against ACH leadership claiming administrators retaliated against them after they raised concerns over Jeremy Barnett's, MD, behavior in 2017 and 2018. The concerns included that Dr. Barnett was verbally abusive in front of patients and their families, and sometimes ignored advice of other staff, potentially leading to adverse patient outcomes.

2. While hospital administration has denied the physicians' allegations, calling them "unproven," a deficiency report from the state health department and CMS concluded hospital leadership failed to take appropriate action against Dr. Barnett, which may have led to adverse patient outcomes, according to auburnpub.com.

3. The report notes that the hospital's medical staff president at the time received emails from at least one physician but told state investigators that "no physicians had come … with concerns regarding another physician," and that "there have been no concerns raised regarding the quality of care provided by [Dr. Barnett]," the report states.

4. Several former hospital physicians and medical professionals confirmed to the publication that leadership was "definitely aware of the situation" involving Dr. Barnett's behavior, and that they even received emails from staff highlighting those issues.

5. In a statement to the publication, ACH administration said: "It is the hospital's understanding that [the medical staff president at the time] did not receive any complaints regarding quality of care issues involving Dr. Barnett," and that the state health department's inspection cited the hospital for "deficiencies related to medical staff policies and procedures for oversight."

"It is important to note that the state inspectors interviewed nurses, doctors and staff, including the former doctors who have sued the hospital, and accepted our plan of correction. [ACH] leadership takes these matters very seriously and responded to the state's concerns in a comprehensive and expeditious fashion," the statement continued.

6. A CMS spokesperson declined to comment to the publication.

To access the full report, click here.

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