Lutheran Health Network physicians: CHS isn't entitled to profit at expense of communities' healthcare

Six physicians who helped develop Fort Wayne, Ind.-based Lutheran Hospital's heart and kidney programs are showing support for Lutheran Health Network in its rift with parent company, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems.

In a letter sent Wednesday to The Journal Gazette, the physicians highlighted some of the services and technologies they helped develop with LHN, including kidney transplantation, heart transplantation and artificial heart technologies.

"We have always felt that these services provided world-class care locally and attracted the 'best and brightest' co-workers to labor with us. These services, in many ways, represent our professional legacies," the letter stated, according to The Journal Gazette.

However, the physicians are concerned their legacies and LHN may be harmed by lack of support from CHS.

"Community Health Systems needs to know that we feel they are entitled to a fair profit, but not at the expense of our healthcare. If they cannot achieve that balance, they need to turn over the reins of Lutheran Health Network to an entity that can," the letter stated, according to The Journal Gazette.

The letter was signed by the following six physicians: Robert Dettmer, MD; John Dyer, MD; Michael Mastrangelo, MD; William Clark, MD; Thomas Hayhurst, MD; and Ronald Scheeringa, MD.

The physicians are among a group of medical professionals who have voiced their concerns with CHS after the hospital operator rejected a buyout offer from a group of LHN physicians in May.

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