Split with anesthesiology group final, New York hospital says

Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital's board of directors said the decision to split with its anesthesiology services provider after 24 years is final, according to the Olean Times Herald.

Hospital officials informed Olean-based Southern Tier Anesthesiologists Aug. 15 it planned to discontinue services once the group's contract expires Dec. 31. The hospital will instead contract with Buffalo, N.Y.-based Great Lakes Anesthesiology, beginning Jan. 1.

Olean General's board of directors released a letter Aug. 30 signed by all 13-members. The letter, obtained by the Times Herald, said board members understand the emotional impact of the transition, but that they are "confident this decision is consistent with our mission and values and is in the overall best interest of our community."

The letter also said Olean General reopened negotiations with Southern Tier Anesthesiologists, but ultimately the group's offer was not up to par.

"Unfortunately, although STA lowered their bid, the remaining gap was just too great for us to go forward with STA. We regret that these negotiations were not successful, and we are grateful to STA for their service to OGH, but it is simply not feasible for OGH to pay millions of dollars more than necessary over the life of the STA contract," the letter reads.

Stephen Carlson, MD, president of Southern Tier Anesthesiologists, confirmed to the Times Herald Olean General reached out to renegotiate, and the move left him and his colleagues hopeful regarding a possible new contract. However, Olean General informed him of its final decision Aug. 30, he added.

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