Sawtooth Surgery Center, an ambulatory surgery center in Twin Falls, Idaho, recently filed suit against the corporate entities charged with managing it, according to a report in the Times-News. The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 in damages, claiming “gross mismanagement” has done irreparable harm to the business.
A facility opened by physicians in 1998, Sawtooth Medical Center sold off majority ownership to National Surgical Corp. in 2007, and that company divested the bulk of their ambulatory surgery center portfolio to the Delaware-based corporation AMSURG Holdings in 2011. AMSURG Holdings became a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare following a 2016 merger.
The lawsuit targets both AMSURG Holdings and Twin Falls NSC, the latter termed “AMSURG’s alter-ego and co-defendant” in the court documents. The Times-News notes AMSURG Holdings and Twin Falls NSC have the same phone number in public documents.
A key complaint in the lawsuit is the management organizations’ failure to address alleged efforts by local major player St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center to pressure surgeons into transferring procedures away from Sawtooth and into an outpatient surgery center opened by the hospital in November 2016.
“The Twin Falls medical community is dominated by one entity: St. Luke’s,” the lawsuit states. “It is well-established that St. Luke’s has crushed out competition and independent medical practices throughout Idaho.”
The lawsuit further alleges negligence in properly maintaining the property lease as well as viable working partnerships with surgical specialists scheduling procedures at Sawtooth.
At the core of the complaint is the assertion that management entities opted for “a superimposing of generic corporate resources to a surgery center that was uniquely situated and uniquely affected by market conditions.”
Envision Healthcare has previously drawn criticism for inadequate management as it has tried to expand within the massive U.S. healthcare market. A recent analysis by Bloomberg was especially harsh when detailing the company’s 2016 merger with AMSURG, noting a “ragtag strategy” and citing CEO Christopher Holden’s admission that “the legacy AmSurg and legacy Envision each prepared their pieces and then we stitched those together at the time of the merger, and it became the budget that we lived with.”
None of the parties involved in the lawsuit responded to request for comment from the Times-News.