4 execs at Renown Health resign over noncompete spat

Four top executives of Reno, Nev.-based Renown Health, including the CEO, have resigned in the final chapter of a messy saga in which 12 cardiologists successfully sued the hospital system for forcing them to sign non-compete agreements.

Those leaving include CEO Jim Miller, General Counsel Kelly Testolin, Vice President of System Development Andy Pearl and Business Development Administrator Phil Schweber, the nonprofit announced Tuesday.

The executives left following a local law firm's review of issues related to Renown's 2010 acquisition of Sierra Nevada Cardiology Associates (SNCA). Renown agreed to the review as part of its February settlement with the cardiologists, who received $4.2 million in compensation and payment of $827,000 for legal fees, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.

The hospital system said it named Donald C. Sibery as interim CEO.

"There is no question that things did not go as planned, and for that we are sincerely sorry," Renown Health Chairman David C. Line said in a statement. "If the execution of the SNCA transaction had been as solid as our intentions, none of this would have occurred."

In December, the Federal Trade Commission decided that the hospital system could not enforce the cardiologists' noncompete contract because it violated antitrust law. Renown Health-owned practices represented 97 percent of the area's cardiology market at one time, although that since has fallen to 88 percent.

Ten cardiologists subsequently left the health system's Renown Regional Medical Center.

To learn more:
- read the hospital announcement
- here's the Reno Gazette-Journal article (paid archive)
- check out the FTC decision (.pdf)