Neurosurgeon claims Wyoming Medical Center violated employment agreement

Anje Kim, MD, filed a lawsuit against Casper-based Wyoming Medical Center in June, claiming the hospital violated her employment agreement, according to the Star-Tribune.

Here are six things to know:

1. WMC entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Mountain View Regional Hospital, a 23-bed surgical hospital in Casper, in April. The organizations finalized the purchase June 1, the report states.

2. Dr. Kim stated in her lawsuit that she had been working at Mountain View since 2015, before the acquisition. Under her employment agreement with Mountain View, she was required to — and agreed to — be transferred to WMC. The employment contract also barred her from "practicing any type of medicine in much of Wyoming" for one year, the lawsuit states.

3. According to Dr. Kim, she received a letter from WMC President and CEO Michele Chulick the day the hospital completed the acquisition informing her she had been terminated. Dr. Kim argued in the lawsuit noncompete clauses like the one in her contract breach the American Medical Association's code of ethics, and WMC and Mountain View "threatened to terminate the physician-patient relationship between Dr. Kim and her patients" by including such a stipulation, the report states.

4. The lawsuit, citing Ms. Chulick's termination letter, states Dr. Kim was fired for failing "to obtain or maintain without restriction" clinical privileges at WMC. However, Dr. Kim argued the contract required her to maintain clinical privileges only at Mountain View, not at any other hospital, including WMC when it acquired the 23-bed hospital.

5. Dr. Kim also alleges she asked WMC and Mountain View for her patients' medical records after her termination, but was rebuffed by hospital officials who have refused to provide her with the information she needs to "facilitate her ethical and legal obligations to her patients" under state law.

6. A WMC spokesperson said in an emailed statement to the Star-Tribune Aug. 6 Dr. Kim chose not to pursue privileges at WMC after the hospital acquired Mountain View.

"This is a pending legal matter and we respect the court's ongoing deliberations and process. What we can say at this time is that Wyoming Medical Center has a clear common sense policy that physicians who do not have privileges with WMC cannot be employed by the organization," the spokesperson said.

To access the full report, click here.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:
Iowa woman sues Fresh Express over McDonald's salad Cyclospora outbreak
Ex-UCLA physician discrimination settlement increased to $15M
Vermont hospital worker accused of poisoning co-worker

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months