Cooper Clinic Sues Mercy Over Recruitment Tactics

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 12:00 am  

Cooper Clinic CEO Doug Babb, inset, said in letters filed in its lawsuit that the multi-specialty clinic had been in sale talks with both Mercy Health and Sparks Health System in Fort Smith in 2012.

“You appear to be attempting to restrain competition in the local health care market,” Babb told Day. “Your attempt to interfere with our relationship with Sparks is inappropriate, and you should not threaten us for working with their Administration.”

As of July 2012, seven of Cooper’s doctors had been lured to work for Mercy.

“If you feel it necessary for your organization to have integrated doctors, why would you not use your resources to recruit them to build the medical community of Fort Smith instead of attempting to dismantle a 92-year-old physician-owned institution like Cooper Clinic to fill your physician slots?” Babb asked.

He said that it was clear that Mercy intended to continue hiring away Cooper’s doctors “with the goal of economically harming our organization and punishing us for not selling our business to you.”

Babb ended the letter by saying the clinic had hired an attorney.



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