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Forum News Service, Published July 09 2013

Valley City doctors, hospital hope for agreement

VALLEY CITY, N.D. - Administrators at Mercy Hospital in Valley City and four doctors are trying to reach an agreement on emergency room services before the the end of the month. If not, patients of those doctors requiring hospitalization would not be able to get treatment from their primary doctors at Mercy Hospital.

Drs. Misty Anderson, Genevieve Govan, Dave Hochhalter and James Buhr, all physicians at Sanford Health Valley City, submitted letters resigning their privileges at Mercy Hospital on June 24. The resignations, unless rescinded, take effect Aug. 1.

If the resignations take effect, the Sanford Clinic doctors would no longer have the right or privilege to admit patients to the hospital or provide care for those hospitalized patients.

Linda Lane, director of clinical operations for Sanford Health Valley City Clinic, said a major part of the disagreement revolves around policies at the Mercy Hospital Emergency Room.

Currently, patients seeking services at the Mercy Hospital Emergency Room are treated by physicians under contract to the hospital.

Keith Heuser, administrator of Mercy Hospital, said the hospital board is trying to find solutions. Heuser would not comment on the current status of the negotiations or the topics under discussion.