Fired physicians win $10.6M arbitration award against Tenet

Two former Detroit Medical Center cardiologists won an arbitration award against the hospital's parent company Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, according to a Jan. 5 report from the Detroit Free Press.

Amir Kaki, MD, and Mahir Elder, MD, who were fired from their hospital leadership positions in October 2018, were awarded $10.6 million. The arbitration award also included reinstatement of their medical staff privileges, according to the Free Press

The physicians alleged they were ousted from their leadership positions for reporting problems affecting patient care. The arbitrator found that Tenet acted with malice when the physicians were fired from their leadership positions and later had their staff privileges revoked, according to the report. 

The arbitrator entered the award Dec. 18, but the hospital had sought to keep the final report confidential. 

"My clients feel vindicated after the intentional retaliation they were subjected to," Deborah Gordon, an attorney for the physicians, told the Free Press. "Their mission was always to serve the Detroit community and the DMC attempted to take that away from them. They look forward to serving the community going forward." 

Detroit Medical Center told the Free Press that it will try to get the arbitrator's award vacated in federal court. 

"On behalf of our dedicated employees and medical staff, we stand behind the decision of our Governing Board to not renew the expired medical staff membership and clinical privileges of Drs. Kaki and Elder for another two-year term," the hospital said, according to the report. 

"Medical staff membership is a privilege — not a right — and the DMC will continue to prioritize patient safety and the well-being of its staff when making these decisions, particularly when confronted with very serious physician behavioral concerns."

Read the full article from the Detroit Free Press here

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