Pitt locks out MDs moving to competitor

It seems that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center doesn't take disloyalty well. A month after a six-OB/GYN practice based at its UPMC Mercy facility it was moving to rival West Penn Hospital, UPMC locked the docs out of their hospital-owned offices. The group, Greater Pittsburgh OB/GYN Associates, had given UPMC six months' notice of its move. The decision by UPMC to lock out doctors has created a fair degree of controversy and upset many patients. The hospital, for its part, has not been willing to comment on why it acted so aggressively.

Physicians were allowed to see patients at Mercy's Women's Health Center, perform scheduled surgical procedures and remain on call, but other routine care was barred. However, during the month immediately after the lockout, patients didn't know how to contact the doctors, and under the terms of their contract with UPMC, the doctors weren't even allowed to reach out and inform the patients. And because UPMC owns the patient records, the doctors had no phone numbers or addresses with which to reach the patients. Now, the group has settled in its West Penn offices, and their new hospital has reached out to 200,000 community members to let them know where the doctors had landed.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece

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