Orthopedic practice sues to keep regional hospitals open longer

Orthopedic

Altoona, Wis.-based Chippewa Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine has sued Hospital Sisters Health System to keep Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis., open until at least July 21.

The practice has contracted with HSHS and has been a call coverage partner since June 2023, according to a Feb. 9 news release shared with Becker's. In January the health system said the hospitals would close April 21.

Since the closure announcement, physicians with Chippewa Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine have had to cancel previously scheduled surgeries and other services, according to the practice's news release. The practice's contract with the health system requires a 180-day notice to terminate the relationship, but no notice was issued by HSHS, the release said.

"We are already seeing the domino effect of HSHS"s accelerated closure plan across the

Region," Brent Carlson, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with the practice, said in the release.

Austin Crow, MD, group president of the practice, said in the release he hopes the court will issue an injunction to keep the hospitals open.

"That additional time is crucial and necessary to protect patients' health now and to develop a plan to continue providing health care to patients in the future."

HSHS didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Becker's.

Chippewa Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine was founded in 1954 and has 11 physicians, according to its website.

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