Physician group's $50M lawsuit against SSM Health dismissed

A judge has dismissed St. Louis Heart and Vascular's lawsuit against SSM Health seeking millions of dollars in damages after the health system terminated the physicians' privileges.

The practice sued St. Louis-based SSM Health March 31 to prevent the health system from entering into an exclusive contract with another cardiology provider, thereby ending privileges of St. Louis Heart and Vascular physicians at SSM hospitals.

St. Louis Heart and Vascular physicians claimed the move would limit the practice's ability to treat cardiac patients and sought $50 million in damages. SSM requested the lawsuit be dropped, claiming its bylaws allow the health system to enter into an exclusive contract with one provider group and terminate privileges of another.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Nellie Ribaudo dismissed the lawsuit Dec. 31 after finding SSM Health complied with its bylaws. She also ordered all costs be paid by St. Louis Heart and Vascular.

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