The Free Press, Mankato, MN

St. Peter news

January 16, 2013

St. Peter hospital, clinic accuse Mayo of questionable business practices

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ST PETER —

Since penning that letter, and going public with her concerns in an article published in the St. Peter Herald, the health care community in St. Peter has been abuzz with the flap between Mayo and River’s Edge, a community hospital owned by the city.

 Mayo Clinic Health System denies all allegations. They say they never made false claims about River’s Edge. An MCHS official has attended recent hospital commission meetings and refuted Spike’s claims.

This week Mayo Clinic Health System spokesman Kevin Burns released a statement about the Mayo/River’s Edge situation. He said they have not been contacted by the attorney general or her office.

“Our medical practice has been in place in St. Peter for over 80 years, and we have always supported the community’s hospital,” Burns said. “In fact, last year, 75 percent of all admissions to River’s Edge Hospital came from Mayo Clinic Health System providers. In this era of tremendous change in health care, we are committed to strengthening communication with all health care partners in St. Peter in order to deliver on our primary value — the needs of the patient come first.

“In short, we are proud of our record and will continue to work within the communities we serve, including with the hospital commission and others in St. Peter, to solve the problems of providing better health care at lower costs.”

Spike said she understands that health care is a business. And she concedes that each example, on its own, can be chalked up to honest mistakes or sloppiness.

But after collecting example after example of similar “mistakes,” she says, she’s convinced they aren’t mistakes at all but are the manifestation of a concerted effort by Mayo Clinic Health System to crush the competition.

Spike, who has been in St. Peter for 15 years and in health care for 40, said the relationship between St. Peter’s hospital and Mayo had for years been a good one. She says it soured a few years ago when a Mayo executive told her flat out its plans.

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