Sisters of Charity sues Palmetto Health over $50M orthopedic practice

Cleveland-based Sisters of Charity Health System, the former owner of Providence Hospitals in Columbia, S.C., has sued Palmetto Health, alleging the system is responsible for the demise of Providence's $50 million orthopedic practice, according to The State.

Seeking more financial resources, Sisters of Charity began affiliation discussions with other systems, including Columbia-based Palmetto, in 2013. According to the lawsuit, it was during these discussions that Palmetto became aware that orthopedic services were Providence Hospital's most profitable service line. With that information, Palmetto allegedly secretly tried to steal Providence's orthopedic business.

Sisters of Charity plans to use emails and text messages from former Providence physicians as evidence. The physicians allegedly conspired with Palmetto to convince orthopedic physicians at Providence's Moore Center of Orthopedics to join Palmetto.

In April 2015, the Moore Center of Orthopedics announced plans to join Palmetto. Sisters of Charity alleges this action damaged Providence in its negotiations with Brentwood, Tenn.-based LifePoint Health, which purchased the hospital in February.

As of late Thursday, Palmetto spokeswoman Tammie Epps said she was unaware of the lawsuit, according to the report.

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